China has some of the most abundant plant life in the world. There are more than 32,000 species of higher plants, and almost all the major plants that grow in the northern hemisphere's frigid, temperate and tropical zones are represented in China. Geologically, China is divided into three nature regions, namely East China Monsoon Region, Northwest China Arid Region and Qinghai-Tibet Cold Region. (Please see the map)
The East China Monsoon Region takes up 45% of China's territory but supports 95% of China's total population. In this area, almost all the arable land has been cultivated and most primeval forests have disappeared. The botanical resources in this region are low-elevation plants. Northwest China Arid Region takes up about 30% of China's territory. Both the ocean-air and summer monsoon can hardly reach this region. So this region features dry weather conditions and desert vegetation with few forests or oases. With an average elevation above 4000 meters, Qinghai-Tibet Cold Region accounts for one-quarter of China's total territory and features numerous snow-covered mountains and vast plateaus.
Botanical Resources in Panda Habitats and Nearby Provinces
Panda Habitats and Nearby Provinces cover all the three regions and have most of the botanical resources in China. In particular, the Hengduan Mountain has been identified by Conservation International as one of the world's top ten hotspots for biodiversity. Sitting at the transitional area between low elevation areas and the Qinghai Tibetan Plateau, the Hengduan Mountain has the most abundant botanical resources in China.