◎ Forest Resources
Taiwan lies on the border between a tropical and subtropical climate. Taiwan’s forests can be classiﬁed as tropical forests, subtropical forests, temperate forests, or boreal forests based on their altitude, climate, and humidity. Taiwan has an abundance of tree species, such as Zelkova serrata, Michelia compressa (Formosan Michelia), Cinnamomum kanehirae, Fraxinus griffithii (Formosan Ash), Chamaecyparis formosensis, Chamaecyparis taiwanensis (Taiwan Cypress), and Tsuga chinensis (Taiwan Hemlock). The trees are located all over Taiwan, and the island is exceptionally famous for its Chamaecyparis formosensis and Chamaecyparis taiwanensis.
The afforestation species grown in existing state-owned forests are mainly Cryptomeria japonica, Pinus taiwanensis, Chamaecyparis formosensis, Acacia confusa, Cunninghamia lanceolate var. lanceolata, Fraxinus griffithii, Taiwania cryptomerioides, Zelkova serrata, Cunninghamia lanceolata var. konishii, Cinnamomum camphora, Alnus glutinosa and Liquidambar formosana, with the afforestation areas of Cryptomeria japonica, Pinus taiwanensis , Chamaecyparis formosensis, Acacia confusa and Cunninghamia lanceolate var. lanceolata being the most common.
◎ Current Status of Forest Resources
Understanding the current status of forest resources is important for decision-making in forest management. In response to management operations needs, the Forestry Bureau has conducted investigations of various scales, including national forest resource investigations, permanent forest sample plot investigations, and state-owned forest working circle revision investigations. The 4th National Forest Resource Investigation, completed in 2014, showed that the forest area of Taiwan (including Kinmen and Lianjiang Counties) was estimated to be 2.197 million hectares, with forest coverage of 60.71%. The forest area per capita was 0.092 hectare per capita. In terms of forest type, the predominant type was broadleaf forests, estimated at 1.47 million hectares, accounting for 67% of forest areas. Coniferous forest areas were estimated at 299,000 hectares, accounting for 14% of the country's forest areas. Mixed coniferous and broadleaf forests had an area of 170,000 hectares, accounting for 8% of the total forest areas. Bamboo forest had an area of 112,000 hectares, accounting for 5%. The total forest stock volume was 502 million cubic meters, while there were about 1.58 billion bamboo poles, which can be converted into 754 million tons of total carbon storage.
◎ Forest Types
Forests have an optimum growth environment. As the trees increase in numbers, community biocoenoses and forest types are formed. The main forest types of Taiwan are as follows:
Taiwan fir and Taiwan spruce are the dominant tree species in this forest type. Taiwan fir prefers high elevations, where it often grows in pure stands; it is ordinarily found in relatively inaccessible mountain areas at elevations above 2,500 meters.
Hemlock is one of the most important conifers in Taiwan. It grows at elevations of 2,000-3,000 meters. It is often mixed with Taiwan ﬁr at the upper end of its range, and is found mixed with pines and temperate hardwood trees at lower elevations.
Red and yellow cypress are among the most valuable tree species growing in Taiwan. Red and yellow cypress tend to grow in pure stands at elevations of 1,500-2,800 meters. The two species are also found growing in mixed forests.
Pine grows in Taiwan at elevations of 300-2,800 meters. Pine forests are the most common natural conifer forests on the island. The most plentiful pine species is Taiwan red pine.
（E）Other conifer type
Apart from plantations consisting of introduced China ﬁr and Japanese ﬁr of the same age, other species of native conifers are typically mixed with hardwood trees or other conifers, and are very seldom found in pure stands.
（F）Conifer-handwood mixed type
Mixed conifer-hardwood forests consisting of temperate hardwood trees and conifers are common at elevations of 1,500-2,000 meters.
Hardwood forests are found from sea level to an elevation of 2,000 meters. Because hardwood trees prefer low elevations, hardwood forests are more accessible than conifer forests. Common hardwood species include members of the Lauraceae and Fagaceae families.
Bamboo forests are found throughout Taiwan. Ma bamboo is found below 1,300 meters, Makino bamboo prefers elevations of 100-1,000 meters, and Moso bamboo grows at elevations of 1,000-1,600 meters.
◎ Technology and Application of Aerial Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing
To meet the country's economic development needs, the Forestry Bureau has actively developed aerial photogrammetry and remote sensing. Guided by the core values of "specializing in aerial survey technologies and enriching national geographic information", the Bureau has collected aerial and remote sensing data from 1976 to this year, established the "Aerial Survey Office Taiwan Image Service and Supply System", and enhanced the information related to land resources. Furthermore, the Bureau has also continued to upgrade the professional proficiency of its personnel, made use of aerial photogrammetry, remote sensing technique, photogrammetry, orthophoto production, agricultural and forest resource survey, natural hazard investigation, etc. In conjunction with the promotion and establishment of the national geographic information system, fast, convenient and large-area imaging information can now be used to provide references for policy planning or academic researches, such as national land planning, urban planning, economic development, resource investigation, agriculture and forest management, disaster prevention and rescue, etc.
◎ Forest Management
Forest management is a long-term endeavor. The Forestry Bureau completed the Forest Classification Plan in 2004 in accordance with the sustainable operation and multiple-objective management concepts. In the classification plan, the Bureau put the state-owned forest zones into the four categories : nature reserves, national protective areas, timber management areas, and forest recreation areas to allow for the development of the preservation, security, economic, and recreational functions, respectively.
Under the pretext of establishing a safe and green homeland, future endeavors will focus on strengthening aﬀorestation and conservation eﬀorts to outline a vision for Taiwan's forest management ‒ in order to build a forest environment that provides disaster prevention, health, recreation, and community functions.
(A) Disaster-Prevention Forests
1. Immediate governance of potential landslide areas
2. Regulation of landslide sources
3. Proper management of old forests
4. Eﬀective restoration of land degradation
5. Protection of rivers and preservation of forests
6. Strengthening the recovery of coastal forests
(B) Healthy Forests
1. Appropriate tending and renewal of artiﬁcial forests
2. Comprehensive management of shelter-forests
3. Sound management of leased national forestland
4. Strengthening management of forest diseases and invasive species
(C) Recreational Forests
1. Optimize national forest recreation areas and forest parks
2. Complete the natural trail system
3. Expand the eﬃcacy of the nature centers
4. Strengthen ecology preservation functions
5. Establish forestry culture parks
(D) Community Forests
1. Integrate neighboring community resources to jointly protect forests
2. Continue promoting community forestry plans
3. Community involvement and eco-tours
4. Promote community conservation areas ‒ Recovery of paddy fields' ecology
Last updated on:2020-06-29