List of life zones by region

The climate and ecology of different locations on the globe naturally separate into life zones, depending on elevation, location, and latitude. The generally strong dependency on elevation is known as altitudinal zonation: the average temperature of a location decreases as the elevation increases.

The general effect of elevation depends on atmospheric physics. However, the specific climate and ecology of any particular location depends on specific features of that location. This article provides a list of life zones by region, in order to illustrate the features of life zones for regions around the globe.

Central Europe: Switzerland & Germany

Mediterranean: Corsica

Tropical Andes 10°S

Sanctuary of Qoyllur Rit'i - Mountain Tundra

Classic Version - Regions of the Amazonic Side

  • Sea level, 22 to 24 °C (72 to 75 °F), but the cold Humboldt Current generates fog.
  • Tierra caliente (Hot land) up to 750–1,000 metres (2,460–3,280 ft).
  • Tierra templada (Temperate land) up to 1,850–2,000 metres (6,070–6,560 ft). The warmest month has an average temperature of below 22 °C (72 °F).
  • Tierra fría (Cool land) below 3,600 metres (11,800 ft). The warmest month has an average temperature of below 18 °C (64 °F).
  • Tierra helada (Cold land) above 3,600 metres (11,800 ft). The tree line occurs when the warmest month has an average temperature of below 10 °C (50 °F).
  • Tierra Nevada, above the Snow line at 4,500–5,500 metres (14,800–18,000 ft).


Kilimanjaro, Tanzania (3°7′0″S 37°35′0″E) & Mount Kenya, Kenya, (0°9′0″S 37°18′0″E)

  • Malindi; Kenya; 23 m; average annual temperature 26.5 °C; average annual precipitation 1'095 mm; 3°14′0″S 40°6′0″E
  • Kilimanjaro Base at around 1,300, crops at around 1,300 - 1,800 m (West Slope is too dry): Coffee (Coffea arabica), Banana (Musa spp.), Mango (Mangifera indica), Avocado (Persea americana). Traditional agriculture uses a multilayer system to save water: Bananas are under the shadows of Mango trees, Avocado trees and Albizia schimperiana var. amaniensis, Coffee bushes and vegetables are under the shadows of Bananas;[9][10][11]
  • Nairobi International Airport; Kenya; 1,624 m; average annual temperature 19.0 °C; average annual precipitation 889 mm; 01°19′09″S 36°55′39″E
  • Subtropical moist broadleaf forests, between 1,400 m and 3,000 m (4,600-9,800 ft), max. 3,300 m. Bamboo Zone needs quite a lot of water, it is missing at the Kilimanjaro because of the agriculture;
  • Timberline forest, "goat's beard" lichen (Usnea spp.), between 3,000 and 3,500 m (9,850-11,500 ft);
  • Tree line, 2,700 - 3,000 m (8,900-9,800 ft), max. 3,500 m (Coniferaes are absent);
  • Heathland and chaparral, between 3,200 and 3,800 m (10,500-12,500 ft). Giant Lobelias, up to ca. 4,000 m; Subalpine forests with Ericaceae up to 4,100 m (as heigh as 10 m);
  • Afro-alpine zone, above about 3,800 m (12,500 ft), Giant Groundsels up to 4,500 m;
  • Nival zone, usually above 4,500 m (14,750 ft).

Vulcano Kibo - Uhuru Peak, 5,895 m rock and ice. As the conifers are absent, the Tree line is lower.[12][13]

Vegetation zones

In the altitudes between 3,400 meters (11,000 feet) and 4,500 meters (15,000 feet) some of the most extreme examples of adaptations can be found. At altitudes below 3,400 meters (12,000 feet) the daily temperature fluctuations are less extreme, the average daily temperature steadily increases, and the growth forms and ecology of the Dendroseneico reflect the increased influence of biotic factors (such as competition for light) over abiotic factors (such as nightly frost).[15]

Jade Dragon Snow Mountains

The Jade Dragon Snow Mountains contain the glacier nearest of the Equator on the North Hemisphere. The landmarks 4,506 m and 4,680 m at the end of the glacier can be achieved through the cable car from Ganhaizi (Tibetan for dry lake, a grassland with conifers at 3,400 m). The mountain desert begins around 4,000 m. The Three Parallel Rivers of Yunnan (UNESCO World Heritage Site) encompasses the watershed areas of the Yangtze (Jinsha), Mekong (Lan Cang) and Salween (Nujiang) rivers and is the joint of the Palearctic ecozone and the Indomalaya ecozone. [16]

Ferrocarril Chihuahua al Pacífico

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway

Other regions



  • Allan, Iain (1981). The Mountain Club of Kenya Guide to Mount Kenya and Kilimanjaro. Nairobi: Mountain Club of Kenya. ISBN 978-9966-9856-0-6.
  • Ellenberg, Heinz (1996). Vegetation Mitteleuropas mit den Alpen in ökologischer, dynamischer und historischer Sicht. Stuttgart: Ulmer. ISBN 3-8252-8104-3.
  • Gamisans, J. (1991). La végétation de la Corse. Genève: Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques de la Ville de Genève, Suisse.
  • Hemp, Andreas (2006a). "The banana forests of Kilimanjaro. Biodiversity and conservation of the agroforestry system of the Chagga Home Gardens". Biodiversity and Conservation. 15 (4): 1193–1217. doi:10.1007/s10531-004-8230-8.
  • Hemp, Claudia (2005). "The Chagga Home Gardens – relict areas for endemic Saltatoria Species (Insecta: Orthoptera) on Mt. Kilimanjaro". Biodiversity and Conservation. 125 (2): 203–210. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2005.03.018.
  • Mayer, Hannes (1974). Wälder des Ostalpenraumes. Standort, Aufbau und waldbaulichen Bedeutung der wichtigsten Waldgesellschaften in den Ostalpen samt Vorland. Ökologie der Wälder und Landschaften vol. 3. Stuttgart, New York: Gustav Fischer Verlag. p. 344. ISBN 3-437-30166-7.
  • Mayer, Hannes (1984). Wälder Europas. Stuttgart, New York: Gustav Fischer Verlag. p. 691. ISBN 3-437-30441-0. Retrieved 2010-05-06.
  • Mayer, Hannes (1988). Die Wälder Korsikas. Wanderungen durch ein Waldparadies. Stuttgart, New York: Gustav Fischer Verlag. p. 79. ISBN 3-437-30586-7.
  • Reille, M.; Gamisans, J.; de Beaulieu, J.-L.; Andrieu, V. (1997). "The late-glacial at Lac de Creno (Corsica, France): a key site in the western Mediterranean basin". New Phytologist. 135 (3): 547–559. doi:10.1046/j.1469-8137.1997.00683.x.
  • Reille, M.; Gamisans, J.; Andrieu-Ponel, V.; de Beaulieu, J.-L. (February 1999). "The Holocene at Lac de Creno, Corsica, France: A Key Site for the Whole Island". New Phytologist. 141 (2): 291–307. doi:10.1046/j.1469-8137.1999.00343.x.
  • Wittmann, O. (1983). Standortkundliche Landschaftsgliederung von Bayern. Materialien. 21. München: Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Landesentwicklung und Umweltfragen.
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