Alpine vegetation.It is the same with the animals. Black giant squirrels (tropical), bear macaques
(tropical), snubnosed monkeys (temperate) and are typical examples. The biodiversity of the Three
Parallel Rivers seems like a natural masterpiece, however, for a geographical perspective it could be analyzed through the interaction of geological, topographical and climatic factors.
Located on the southeastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau, the unique landforms of the Three Parallel
Rivers is shaped by orogenic process of mountain building over the last 30 million years. ‘The Indian subcontinent has been pushing northwards into Eurasia. To the east, the rocks have buckled into a series of steep northsouth ridges’. This geological process produces the huge relative altitude from the top to the bottom. In addition, with three great rivers running through the valleys in considerable high flow velocity, the constant water erosion process wears away and breaks down rocks in the riverbed, eventually downward deepening the intrinsic steep gorges. Consequently, the combined effect of mountain formation and river erosion process creates the extremely deep parallel valleys ranging from 1,000 meter below to over 6,000 meter glaciated peaks. The huge temperature difference intrinsically carried by this topography provides the base for diverse creatures from an array of temperature zones other than tropical area.
Besides, the high mountains serve as a natural barrier to prevent the rare wild species from being disturbed and invaded by nonnative creatures. However, the most amazing biodiversity characteristic of the Three Parallel Rivers is the appearance of tropical organisms, which could be attributed by climatic factors. This area is mostly under of influence of
Indian Ocean hot and humid monsoon. ‘The giant river valleys act like immense funnels that the moist warm air is driven right up to the north of Yunnan’. The monsoon brings constant plenty precipitation and relatively high temperature, building the suitable climatic condition for tropical plant communities as well as abundant food for jungle animals. Moreover, the plenty rainfalls increase the number of mountain streams and the flow volume of the major rivers, which is beneficial for aquatic organisms to thrive. The interaction of three factors above gives birth to the botanical and animal…