This BioProvince (as defined by Armen Takhtajan) includes most of Kamchatka (but not its forest tundra region), Karagin Island, the western shores of the Okhotsk Sea (Okhotia) and adjacent islands, the western shores of the Tatar Straits south to the the Bay of Soviet Gavan, the lower Amur River, northern Sakhalin, the northern Kuril Islands, the Commander Islands and the western and middle Aleutian Islands. The geology is varied and complex. Kamchatka lies on a granitic base largely buried under basaltic and andesite layers and the area is volcanically active. Climatically the area can be described as cold with short summers. Throughout winter much of the lowlands have continuous snow cover and although it starts to disappear in June, thick snowdrifts can persist for much longer. The cold Ochotske Sea with ice along its western shores until late spring has a cooling effect on the surrounding areas and the cold prevailing on-shore wind restricts plant growth. In the uplands snow patches remain until mid August and the higher mountains and volcanoes remain covered in snow throughout summer. Heavy summer rain is rare but autumn typhoons can affect much of the area bringing torrential rain and high winds. In wintertime horrendous snowstorms (purga) occur which may last up to three days. The flora comprises three enedemic genera and over 200 endemic species.
The following accounts for this BioProvince have been written or will be written with particular reference to endemic and locally important species. Accounts available are displayed in green or yellow. Those displayed in red are either in the pipeline or awaiting expert contributions.
|Endemic Vascular Plant Flora|