Eurasian Himalayan Alpine

The alpine regions of Central Asia are most famously recognized for the Himalayan Mountains. However, alpine vegetation zones exist in many of the mountain ranges surrounding the Tibetan Plateau, including the Hindu Kush, Pamir, Qilian, Kunlun, and Karakorum Mountains. The Tibetan Plateau itself is considered an alpine steppe and the highest grasslands in the world with elevations rising above 4,000 m (13,123 ft). The general area has historically sustained transhumant herding of yak, sheep and goats; however, recent changes in land and grazing rights (from feudalism to privatized livestock and individual grazing rights) have threatened the subsistence of herding in such a severe climate. Alpine dwarf shrubs, herbaceous and graminoid mats, and cushion and rosette floristic compositions typically occur between the tree line (3,500-4,000 m [11,483-13,123 ft]) and the frozen capped peaks (the highest plant record is at 6,400 m [20,997 ft]).