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    台灣植物誌 第一版  Flora of Taiwan, 1st edition    Vol. 1

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    台灣植物誌第一版  Flora of Taiwan, 1st edition  1: 1


    Introduction
    I. THE PHYSICAL BACKGROUND
    1. Geographical Position
    The island of Taiwan is situated along the fringe of the continental shelf of Asia, on the western border of the Pacific Ocean, between the East China Sea to the southwest. It lies between 120X02'16"-122X00'04" east longitude and 21X 53'42"-25X 17'48" north latitude. It is of a slightly arching spindle shape, the arc convexing to the Asiatic continent. The length of the island is about 448 km or 240 miles, and the maximum breadth 144 km or 90 miles. The total area is about 36,000 sq km. The island's winding coastline is nearly 1,140 km in length.
    Besides the island proper, Taiwan province includes also several nearby small islands or island groups, the most important being the Penghu Islands (Pescadores). This group, situated west of Taiwan in the Taiwan Strait, consists of over sixty small barren islands with a total area of 79 sq km. In the Pacific, off the south- east coast of Taiwan, lie two small islands, Lanyu (Botel Tobago), formerly known as Huntauyu, and Lutao, formerly known as Hoshaotao. Taiwan is separated in the south from Luzon, of the Philippines, by about 300 km by the Bashi and Balintang channels.
    2. Topography
    The main topographic characteristic of Taiwan is the predominance of mountains. Plains below 100 m occupy only 31.3% of the total surface of the island. Areas between 100-1 000 m occupy 37.2% and areas above 1 000 m occupy
    31.5%.
    The chief feature of the island is a high mountain system running from north to south for nearly the whole length. It separates the island into a mountainous
    Taiwan, a province of China, is also the largest island of the country. It is located off the east coast of the mainland, separated from the province of Fukien by a shallow Taiwan Strait which is only 144 km or 90 miles wide at the narrowest part.
    The island has been known as Taiwan or "Terrace Bay" since the Ming Dynasty in the fifteenth century, probably referring to the natural green terraces of the mountainous island. It is generally also known as Formosa. In the sixteenth century, Portuguese navigators, noting the majestic beauty of its scenery with its rugged peaks and luxurious vegetation, called it "Ilha Formosa" or "Island Beautiful.