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Encyclopedia > Tropical rainforest
Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests of the world
Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests of the world

Tropical rainforests are rainforests generally found near the equator. They are common in Asia, Africa, South America, Central America, and on many of the Pacific Islands. Within the World Wildlife Fund's biome classification scheme, tropical rainforests are considered a type of tropical wet forest (or tropical moist broadleaf forest) and may also be referred to as lowland equatorial evergreen rainforests. Minimum normal annual rainfall between 1,750 millimetres (69 in) and 2,000 millimetres (79 in) occurs in this climate regime. Mean monthly temperatures exceed 18 °C (64 °F) during all months of the year.[1] Rainforests are home to half of all the living animal and plant species on the planet.[2] Tropical rain forests are called the "world's largest pharmacy" because over one-quarter of modern medicines originate from its plants.[3] The undergrowth in a rainforest is restricted in many areas by the lack of sunlight at ground level.[4] This makes it possible for people and other animals to walk through the forest. If the leaf canopy is destroyed or thinned for any reason, the ground beneath is soon colonized by a dense tangled growth of vines, shrubs and small trees called a jungle.[5] Image File history File links 800px-tropical_wet_forests. ... Image File history File links 800px-tropical_wet_forests. ... A rainforest is a forested biome with high annual rainfall. ... World map showing the equator in red For other uses, see Equator (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Asia (disambiguation). ... A world map showing the continent of Africa Africa is the worlds second-largest and second most-populous continent, after Asia. ... South America South America is a continent crossed by the equator, with most of its area in the Southern Hemisphere. ... For other uses, see Central America (disambiguation). ... Tuamotu, French Polynesia The Pacific Ocean contains an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 islands (the exact number has yet to be precisely determined). ... Note: After losing a court case in 2002 on the use of the initials WWF, the organization previously known as the World Wrestling Federation has rebranded itself as World Wrestling Entertainment, or WWE. WWF - The Conservation Organization was formerly known as World Wildlife Fund and Worldwide Fund for Nature. ... A biome is a climatically and geographically defined area of ecologically similar communities of plants, animals, and soil organisms, often referred to as ecosystems. ... The tropics are the geographic region of the Earth centered on the equator and limited in latitude by the two tropics: the Tropic of Cancer in the north and the Tropic of Capricorn in the southern hemisphere. ... Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests, also known as tropical wet forests and tropical rainforests, are a tropical and subtropical forest biome. ... Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests, also known as tropical rain forests, are a tropical and subtropical biome. ... For other uses, see Animal (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Plant (disambiguation). ... This article is about a community of trees. ... Box Log Falls, Lamington National Park, Queensland, Australia Jungle usually refers to a dense forest in a hot climate, such as a tropical rainforest. ...

Contents

Characteristics

Tropical rainforest in Borneo, Indonesia

The tropical rainforests are home to more species or populations than all other biomes combined. The leafy tops of tall trees-extending from 50 to 80 meters above the forest floor-forms an understory. Organic matter that falls to the forest floor quickly decomposes, and the nutrients are recycled. Φ Borneo is the third largest island in the world and is located at the centre of Maritime Southeast Asia. ... For other uses, see Species (disambiguation). ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Tree (disambiguation). ... metre or meter, see meter (disambiguation) The metre is the basic unit of length in the International System of Units. ... This article is about a community of trees. ...


Rainforests are characterized by high rainfall. This often results in poor soils due to leaching of soluble nutrients. Oxisols, infertile, and deeply weathered, have developed on the ancient Gondwanan shields. Rapid bacterial decay prevents the accumulation of humus. The concentration of iron and aluminium oxides by the laterization process gives the oxisols a bright red color and sometimes produces mineral deposits (e.g. bauxite). On younger substrates, especially of volcanic origin, tropical soils may be quite fertile, as are the soils of many seasonally flooded forests, which are annually replenished with fertile silt. In meteorology, precipitation is any kind of water that falls from the sky as part of the weather. ... For the heavy metal band see Soil (band) Soil is the layer of minerals and organic matter, in thickness from centimetres to a metre or more, on the land surface. ... Nutrients and the body A nutrient is any element or compound necessary for or contributing to an organisms metabolism, growth, or other functioning. ... For other uses of Gondwana and Gondwanaland, see Gondwana (disambiguation). ... Shields are shown in orange. ... -1... General Name, symbol, number iron, Fe, 26 Chemical series transition metals Group, period, block 8, 4, d Appearance lustrous metallic with a grayish tinge Standard atomic weight 55. ... Aluminum redirects here. ... For other uses, see Mineral (disambiguation). ... This article is about the ore. ... This article is about volcanoes in geology. ... The tropics are the geographic region of the Earth centered on the equator and limited in latitude by the two tropics: the Tropic of Cancer in the north and the Tropic of Capricorn in the southern hemisphere. ... For the heavy metal band see Soil (band) Soil is the layer of minerals and organic matter, in thickness from centimetres to a metre or more, on the land surface. ... Fertile may be used in the following conrtext: Fertility, a term used to describe the ability of people or animals to produce healthy offspring. ... Fertile may be used in the following conrtext: Fertility, a term used to describe the ability of people or animals to produce healthy offspring. ... For other uses, see Silt (disambiguation). ...


Rainforests are home to two-thirds of all the living animal and plant species on the planet. It has been estimated that many hundreds of millions of new species of plants, insects, and microorganisms are still undiscovered and, as yet, unnamed by science. Rainforests are also often called the "Earth's lungs," however there is no scientific basis for such a claim as tropical rainforests are known to be essentially oxygen neutral, with little or no net oxygen production.[6][7] For other uses, see Animal (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Plant (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Species (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Species (disambiguation). ... u fuck in ua ... Orders Subclass Apterygota Archaeognatha (bristletails) Thysanura (silverfish) Subclass Pterygota Infraclass Paleoptera (Probably paraphyletic) Ephemeroptera (mayflies) Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies) Infraclass Neoptera Superorder Exopterygota Grylloblattodea (ice-crawlers) Mantophasmatodea (gladiators) Plecoptera (stoneflies) Embioptera (webspinners) Zoraptera (angel insects) Dermaptera (earwigs) Orthoptera (grasshoppers, etc) Phasmatodea (stick insects) Blattodea (cockroaches) Isoptera (termites) Mantodea (mantids) Psocoptera... A cluster of Escherichia coli bacteria magnified 10,000 times. ... This article is about the chemical element and its most stable form, or dioxygen. ...

Amazon river rain forest in Peru

Tall, broad-leaved evergreen trees are the dominant plants, forming a leafy canopy over the forest floor. Taller trees, called emergents, may rise above the canopy. The upper portion of the canopy often supports a rich flora of epiphytes, including orchids, bromeliads, mosses, and lichens, who live attached to the branches of trees. The undergrowth or understory in a rain forest is often restricted by the lack of sunlight at ground level, and generally consists of shade-tolerant shrubs, herbs, ferns, small trees, and large woody vines which climb into the trees to capture sunlight. The relatively sparse under story vegetation makes it possible for people and other animals to walk through the forest. In deciduous and semi-deciduous forests, or forests where the canopy is disturbed for some reason, the ground beneath is soon colonized by a dense tangled growth of vines, shrubs and small trees called jungle. Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (2048 × 1536 pixel, file size: 643 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) View of the upland tropical rain forests of Madre de Dios, Peru, June 2004. ... Image File history File links Metadata Size of this preview: 800 × 600 pixelsFull resolution (2048 × 1536 pixel, file size: 643 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) View of the upland tropical rain forests of Madre de Dios, Peru, June 2004. ... This article is about the river. ... Look up Canopy in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Orchid re-directs here; for alternate uses see Orchid (disambiguation) Genera Over 800 See List of Orchidaceae genera. ... Genera See text Bromeliads include epiphytes, such as Spanish moss, and ground plants, such as the Pineapple. ... This article is about precipitation. ... This article is about a community of trees. ... The word bush re-directs here; for alternate uses see Bush (disambiguation). ... This article is about the plants used in cooking and medicine. ... This article is about the group of pteridophyte plants. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... For other uses, see Deciduous (disambiguation). ... A broom shrub in flower A shrub or bush is a horticultural rather than strictly botanical category of woody plant, distinguished from a tree by its multiple stems and lower height, usually less than 6 m tall. ... Box Log Falls, Lamington National Park, Queensland, Australia Jungle usually refers to a dense forest in a hot climate, such as a tropical rainforest. ...


The temperature ranges from 20°C to 25°C (77°F to 82°F) and 50 to 260 inches (125 to 660 cm) of rainfall yearly. For other uses, see Temperature (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Celsius (disambiguation). ...


Layers

The rainforest is divided into five different parts, each with different plants and animals, adapted for life in the particular area. These are: the floor layer, the shrub layer, the understory layer, the canopy layer and the emergent layer. Only the emergent layer is unique to tropical rainforests, while the others are also found in temperate rainforests such as the Amazon Rainforest. Download high resolution version (1024x768, 221 KB)A river scene in the Amazon Rainforest Amazon river - Salinopolis - Para - Brazil Photographer: cesarpb Source: Stock. ... Download high resolution version (1024x768, 221 KB)A river scene in the Amazon Rainforest Amazon river - Salinopolis - Para - Brazil Photographer: cesarpb Source: Stock. ... This article is about the river. ... Map of the Amazon rainforest ecoregions as delineated by the WWF. Yellow line encloses the Amazon rainforest. ...


The emergent layer contains a small number of very large trees which grow above the general canopy, reaching heights of 45-55 m, although on occasion a few species will grow to 70 m or 80 m tall. They need to be able to withstand the hot temperatures and strong winds. Eagles, butterflies, bats and certain monkeys inhabit this layer. This article is about the unit of length. ... Genera Several, see text. ... For other uses of the term butterfly, see butterfly (disambiguation). ... For the flying mammal see bat. ... Approximate worldwide distribution of monkeys. ...


Human uses

Habitation

Tropical rainforests currently support only small human populations. Food resources within the forest are extremely dispersed due to the high biological diversity and what food does exist is largely restricted to the canopy and requires considerable energy to obtain. Rainforest soils are often thin and leached of many minerals, and the heavy rainfall can quickly leach nutrients from rainforest plots cleared for cultivation. Nonetheless, tribes of people do live deep inside some rainforests, for example, the Yanomami people in the Amazon rainforest. Many agriculturalists, particularly within the Amazon and New Guinean rainforests, obtain their food primarily from farm plots cleared from the forest and hunt and forage within the forest to supplement this. Other peoples described as rainforest dwellers are hunter-gatherers who subsist in large part by trading high value forest products such as hides, feathers, and honey with agricultural people living outside the forest. Some groups have farmed the Amazon for millennia by enriching the soil through very slow burns. In fact, when Europeans first went down the Amazon River, they wrote about the heavily populated villages they passed. Other groups of hunter-gatherers have exploited rainforest on a seasonal basis but dwell primarily in adjacent savanna and open forest environments where food is much more abundant.[8] Fierce People redirects here. ... Loess field in Germany Surface-water-gley developed in glacial till, Northern Ireland For other uses, see Soil (disambiguation). ... This article is about a community of trees. ...


Cultivated foods and spices

Coffee, chocolate, bananas, mangoes, papayas, Macadamia nuts, avocados, and sugar cane all originally came from tropical rainforests, and are still mostly grown on plantations in regions that were formerly primary forest. In the mid-1980s and 90s, 40 million tons of bananas were consumed worldwide each year, along with 13 million tons of mangoes. Central American coffee exports were worth US$3 billion in 1970. Much of the genetic variation used in evading the damage caused by new pests is still derived from resistant wild stock. Tropical forests have supplied 250 cultivated kinds of fruit, compared to only 20 for temperate forests. Forests in New Guinea alone contain 251 tree species with edible fruits, of which only 43 had been established as cultivated crops by 1985.[9] For other uses, see Coffee (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Chocolate (disambiguation). ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Species About 35 species, including: Mangifera altissima Mangifera applanata Mangifera caesia Mangifera camptosperma Mangifera casturi Mangifera decandra Mangifera foetida Mangifera gedebe Mangifera griffithii Mangifera indica Mangifera kemanga Mangifera laurina Mangifera longipes Mangifera macrocarpa Mangifera mekongensis Mangifera odorata Mangifera pajang Mangifera pentandra Mangifera persiciformis Mangifera quadrifida Mangifera siamensis Mangifera similis Mangifera... Binomial name L. This article is about the fruit. ... Species Macadamia integrifolia Macadamia tetraphylla The macadamia nut is the fruit of a tree native to the east coast of Australia. ... Binomial name Mill. ... Species Ref: ITIS 42058 as of 2004-05-05 Sugarcane is one of six species of a tall tropical southeast Asian grass (Family Poaceae) having stout fibrous jointed stalks whose sap at one time was the primary source of sugar. ... This article is about the general scientific term. ... Carpet beetle larvae damaging a specimen of Sceliphron destillatorius in an entomological collection A pest is an organism which has characteristics that are regarded as injurious or unwanted. ... For other uses, see Fruit (disambiguation). ... A map showing the areas of temperate rain forest Temperate rain forest in the Mount Hood Wilderness, Oregon, United States. ...


Pharmaceutical and biodiversity resource

Tropical rain forests are called "the world's largest pharmacy" because of the large amount of natural "medicines" discovered there. For example, rain forests contain the "basic ingredients of hormonal contraception methods, cocaine, stimulants, and tranquilizing drugs" (Banks 36). Curare (a paralyzing drug) and quinine (a malaria cure) are also found there. Hormonal contraception refers to birth control methods that act on the hormonal system. ... For other uses, see Cocaine (disambiguation). ... Sustained-Release 15mg Dexedrine Spansules. ... A sedative is a drug that depresses the central nervous system (CNS), which causes calmness, relaxation, reduction of anxiety, sleepiness, slowed breathing, slurred speech, staggering gait, poor judgment, and slow, uncertain reflexes. ... Strychnos toxifera by Koehler 1887 This page is about the plant toxins. ... Quinine (IPA: ) is a natural white crystalline alkaloid having antipyretic (fever-reducing), anti-smallpox, analgesic (painkilling), and anti-inflammatory properties and a bitter taste. ... Malaria is a vector-borne infectious disease caused by protozoan parasites. ...


Tourism

Currently one of the largest economic values of tropical rainforests comes in the form of tourism. People travel both nationally and internationally to experience rain forests firsthand. The economic benefits of tourism are the most promising way in which rainforests may be preserved. Tourist redirects here. ... One of the most influential doctrines in history is that all humans are divided into groups called nations. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...


Leading group informational tours through the forest is also common, nature hikes, climbing through the canopies, camping, biking and animal/insect watching are all also common forms of tourism done in the forest.


Negative Impacts

As tourism becomes more popular in the tropical rainforests there are many different negative impacts that come from it, these being depletion of natural resources, pollution, and more. Taking walks/hikes in the forest, off-roading or biking and camping all can trample vegetation, introduce weeds and change plant composition. Bringing in any outside influences that come in contact to the plants and nature of the forest can destroy or leave a major impression on the plants. There are also many other environmental impacts on the forest caused by tourism such as: changes in soil condition, increased soil erosion, alterations of faunal composition, increase and introduction of weeds, development of social trails or paths through the forest, changes in water quality, habituation of native fauna, alterations of plant life and composition, and spread of soil pathogens. Look up Resource in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Air pollution Pollution is the introduction of pollutants (whether chemical substances, or energy such as noise, heat, or light) into the environment to such a point that its effects become harmful to human health, other living organisms, or the environment. ... Weeds may be: Weed, an undesired plant growth (weeds, plural) Slang for Cannabis, the herb used for its psychoactive effects, but also grown into hemp Weeds (television), the 2005 Showtime television series starring Mary-Louise Parker and Elizabeth Perkins. ... Loess field in Germany Surface-water-gley developed in glacial till, Northern Ireland For other uses, see Soil (disambiguation). ... Water quality is the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of water, characterized through the methods of hydrometry. ...


Positive Impacts

Onset dates and prevailing wind currents of the southwest summer monsoon.
Onset dates and prevailing wind currents of the southwest summer monsoon.

Although tourism in the tropical rainforests does have a good amount of negative effects, there are also three main important positive effects it also has. Having an increase in tourism in the rainforest has increased the economic support also, allowing more revenue to go into the protection of the tropical rainforest. Tourism can contribute directly to the conservation of sensitive areas and habitat. Revenue from park-entrance fees and similar sources can be owed specifically to pay for the protection and management of environmentally sensitive areas. The government also contributes revenue into the protection of the forest; such funds can be used for overall conservation programs and activities, such as protection services and developmental programs. Tourism also has the potential to increase public appreciation of the environment and to spread awareness of environmental problems when it brings people into closer contact with nature and the environment. With people being aware of the environment due to tourism it can cause more environmentally conscious behavior. Tourism has had a positive effect on wildlife preservation and protection efforts, notably in Africa but also in South America, Asia, Australia, and the South Pacific.[10] Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ...


Tourism in the Tropical rainforest has increased over the years having many different effects on the tropical rainforest around the world. With tourists wanting to visit the untouched parts of the world they can leave behind negative effects of altering nature/vegetation and positive effects of donating revenue which will contribute into the protection of the tropical forests


Animals of the rainforest

Rainforests support a very broad array of fauna including mammals, reptiles, birds and invertebrates. Mammals may include primates, felids and other families. Reptiles include snakes, turtles, the poison dart frog, chameleons and other families. Birds include such families as vangidae and Cuculidae. Dozens of families of invertebrates are found in rainforests. More than two-thirds of the world's species of plants and animals are found in the rainforest[citation needed].


Ecosystem services

In addition to extractive human uses rainforests also have non-extractive uses that are frequently summarized as ecosystem services. Rain forests play an important role in maintaining biological diversity, modulating precipitation infiltration and flooding, increasing scientific knowledge and in the spiritual well-being of humans. Such ecosystem services are of use to humans without the need for any modification or management of the forest itself. Humankind benefits from a multitude of resources and processes that are supplied by natural ecosystems. ...


References

  1. ^ Susan Woodward. Tropical Broadleaf Evergreen Forest: The Rainforest. Retrieved on 2008-03-14.
  2. ^ The Regents of the University of Michigan. The Tropical Rain Forest. Retrieved on 2008-03-14.
  3. ^ Rainforest Concern.Why are rainforests important? Retrieved on 2008-03-14.
  4. ^ Michael Ritter. The Forest Biome. Retrieved on 2008-03-14.
  5. ^ "Tropical Rain Forest". Glossary of Meteorology. American Meteorological Society. Retrieved on 2008-05-14. 
  6. ^ Broeker, W.S., 2006 "Breathing easy, Et tu, O2" Columbia University http://www.columbia.edu/cu/21stC/issue-2.1/broecker.htm.
  7. ^ Moran, E.F., "Deforestation and Land Use in the Brazilian Amazon", Human Ecology, Vol 21, No. 1, 1993 “It took more than 15 years for the "lungs of the world" myth to be corrected. Rainforests contribute little net oxygen additions to the atmosphere through photosynthesis.”
  8. ^ Bailey, R.C., Head, G., Jenike, M., Owen, B., Rechtman, R., Zechenter, E., 1989 "Hunting and gathering in tropical rainforest: is it possible." American Anthropologist, 91:1 59-82
  9. ^ Myers, N. 1985. The primary source W. W. Norton and Co., New York, pp. 189-193.
  10. ^ Fotiou, S. (2001, October). Environmental Impacts of Tourism. Retrieved November 30, 2007, from http://www.uneptie.org/pc/tourism/sust-tourism/env-conservation.htm
  • Mann, Charles C., 1491 New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus New York: Knopf, 2005 ISBN 0739464418

2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Anno Domini (or common era), in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 73rd day of the year (74th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (U of M, U-M, UM or simply Michigan) is a coeducational public research university in the state of Michigan. ... 2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Anno Domini (or common era), in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 73rd day of the year (74th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Anno Domini (or common era), in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 73rd day of the year (74th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Anno Domini (or common era), in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 73rd day of the year (74th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... The American Meteorological Society promotes the development and dissemination of information and education on the atmospheric and related oceanic and hydrologic sciences and the advancement of their professional applications. ... 2008 (MMVIII) is the current year, a leap year that started on Tuesday of the Anno Domini (or common era), in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. ... is the 134th day of the year (135th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... O2 or O-2 may be: Oceanic Airlines (Guinea) IATA airline designator Oxygen O2 plc, a telecommunications company. ... Photosynthesis splits water to liberate O2 and fixes CO2 into sugar The leaf is the primary site of photosynthesis in plants. ...

See also

Map of the Amazon rainforest ecoregions as delineated by the WWF. Yellow line encloses the Amazon rainforest. ... For the novel, see Rainforest (novel). ... Tropic wet forests in the World Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests, also known as tropical wet forests, are a tropical and subtropical forest biome. ... A map showing the areas where temperate rain forest can be found Temperate rain forest in the Mount Hood Wilderness, Oregon, United States. ... This is a list of tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forest ecoregions, arranged by ecozone // Biome Ecoregion Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forest Tropical rainforest ...

External links

Conservation efforts

There have been many conservation efforts: To conserve habitat for wild species and prevent their extinction or reduction in range is a priority of a great many groups that cannot be easily characterized in terms of any one ideology. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Tropical Plant Database (506 words)
This Tropical Plant Database is continuously under construction as we continue to add more rainforest plants which are under research and update the information on the plants in the database.
The information provided in the Tropical Plant Database is collected from many independent sources and publications to provide a factual and accurate account of the plants contained herein.
The plants described in the Tropical Plant Database are not intended to treat, cure, diagnose, mitigate or prevent any disease and no medical claims are made.
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Tropical rainforests are ecosystems with an extraordinarily high diversity of animal and plant species.
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