Moon J., Lee W. K., Song C., Lee S. G., Heo S. B., Shvidenko A. Z., Kraxner F., Lamchin M., Lee E. J., Zhu Y., Kim D., Cui G. An introduction to Mid-Latitude Ecotone: Sustainability and Environmental Challenges

Keywords:
mid-latitude ecotone, deforestation, land degradation, desertification, climate change, carbon cycle variation

Abstract

How to cite: Moon J.1, Lee W. K.1, Song C.1, Lee S. G.1, Heo S. B.1, Shvidenko A. Z.2, 3, Kraxner F.2, Lamchin M.1, Lee E. J.4, Zhu Y.1, Kim D.5, Cui G.6 An introduction to mid-latitude ecotone: sustainability and environmental challenges // Sibirskij Lesnoj Zurnal (Sib. J. For. Sci.). 2017. N. 6: … (in English with Russian abstract).

DOI: 10.15372/SJFS20170603

© Moon J., Lee W. K., Song C., Lee S. G., Heo S. B., Shvidenko A. Z., Kraxner F., Lamchin M., Lee E. J., Zhu Y., Kim D., Cui G., 2017

The mid-latitude zone can be broadly defined as part of the hemisphere between 30°–60° latitude. This zone is home to over 50 % of the world population and encompasses about 36 countries throughout the principal region, which host most of the world’s development and poverty related problems. In reviewing some of the past and current major environmental challenges that parts of mid-latitudes are facing, this study sets the context by limiting the scope of mid-latitude region to that of Northern hemisphere, specifically between 30°–45° latitudes which is related to the warm temperate zone comprising the Mid-Latitude ecotone – a transition belt between the forest zone and southern dry land territories. The ongoing climate change reveals a substantial increase of temperature and simultaneous decrease in the amount of precipitation across vast continental regions in the mid-latitudes. According to climatic predictions, these tendencies will continue during the 21st century, which will likely increase the frequency and severity of droughts and water stress of vegetation. Along with climate change, ongoing land degradation and deforestation are observed in many regions of the mid-latitude region. For example, the Korean peninsula, which is divided into South and North Korea, is characterized by drastically different forest conditions. Deforestation in North Korea has been exacerbating at a noticeable pace due to excessive logging and human intervention. Such problems are not confined to Korean peninsula but are witnessed across vast regions of the mid-latitude region. Within this context – acquiring better understanding in the role of terrestrial ecosystems located at different latitudes is critical – for building resilience against the negative impact of climate change and for maintaining the stability of the environment and landscapes.


Return to list