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Beauty of Forest
Most regions passed through by the Tropics are deserts or arid grasslands, but in Taiwan monsoon and tropical cyclones bring plentiful precipitation and enrich the ecological growth. The dramatic geographical change from sea level up to about 4,000 meters contributes to complicated climate happening in this narrow 36,000-square-kilometer island, in addition to the intersection between south-north mountains and monsoon.
The conditions provide diverse natural resources for wide spectrum of vegetation, ranging from alpine frigid bushes (above 3500 meters), subalpine coniferous forest (3000-3500 meters), cold coniferous forest (2500~3000 meters), temperate mountainous coniferous forest (1500-2500 meters), temperate mountainous broad-leaved forest (700-1500 meters), subtropical mountainous broad-leaved forest (beneath 700 meters), to tropical coastal forest; the abundant plants have promoted the island the precious forest treasure to explorers for centuries.
Portuguese saw the island's verdant beauty from the sea in the 16th century and couldn’t help by cry aloud “Formosa!” Mark Western, a Canadian married to a Taiwanese girl, shared the same sentiment in 2004 after he rowed his canoe around the island in 34 days.
"Formosa" means the beautiful island with dense forests.
The particular nature has evolved hundreds of thousands of endemic Taiwan fauna and flora, who dwell on variety of forests in different elevations.
Forests are constituted of abundant vegetation, fungi, groundcovers, parasitic plants, etc., in addition to the leading role—trees. A complete forest is a world where different generations of flora and all kinds of fauna inhabit together, within even withered and dead woods share a position.
The old misunderstanding of the useless deadwood has proven reversed; deadwoods are part of protectors in forest ecosystem. Covered by the withered branches, leaves, the moisture and temperature of soil is kept to appropriate germination environment. Deadwood also provides excellent food resources and shelter for small animals, such as beetles, stag beetles, wireworms, carabids, and so on. The decomposed branches and leaves is the best nourishment supply for plants.
Woodlands and National Forest Recreation Areas all over the island welcome your visit. The northern National Forest Recreation Areas are Taipingshan [Taiping Mountain], Neidong, Guanwu, Mingchi,
Manyueyuan, Dongyanshan [Dongyan Mountain], Cilan. In central Taiwan there are Dasyuehshan [Dasyue Mountain], Basianshan [Basian Mountain], Wuling, Hehuanshan [Hehuan Mountain or more commonly Hohuanshan], Aowanda, Sitou, Hueisun. In South there are Alishan [Ali Mountain], Kending [commonly Kenting], Tengjhih in Taoyuan Township in Kaohsiung County, Shuangliu in Shezih Township in Pingtung County.
To the East, there Jhihben, Chihnan and Fuyuan in Hualien County.
Extended from Pingtung Majia Township to Taitung County, Dawushan Nature Reserve has the largest virgin forest, covers altitudes from 200 to 3100 meters, vegetation from grassland, artificial forest, broad-leaf forest, coniferous-broad leaf mixed forest, to cold coniferous forest, which are the only survival middle-elevation forests. In addition, the world-class extinct Felidae animal Formosan clouded leopard may still live here, by chance.
The sea of trees rippling as breathe goes in Tengjhih National Forest Recreation Area are as magnificent as a sea of clouds. Tengjhih conserves Japanese Cedar, Taiwania, Taiwan Incense Cedar in perfect situation; Taiwania cryptomerioides competes to the highest to Japanese yellow cypress, and Moso bamboo forest. This Forest Recreation Area is situated between 500-1804 meters high, and has a cozy annual mean temperature between 18-21 °C, which gains it a reputation of "South Small Sitou”; it is the summer resort in south Taiwan.
Guanwu is located at the boundary between Wufeng Township in Hsinchu County, and Taian Township in Miaoli County. Please expect unworldly mountainous mist as well as dense Japanese Cedar forest, along with Taiwan Red False-Cypress, Yellow cypress. Cilan in Yilan County has bred divine trees, and names them in the accordance with their years of birth; so there are "Confucius Tree", "Sima Qian Tree", and "Wu Zetian Tree”.
The movie “Medicine Man” is all about the vitality of forests, the palpitation and the anticipated humbleness when mankind faces the nature.