The tropical forest is considered the ecosystem that has the greatest amount of life on earth. Its trees, thickly populated, are the perfect habitat for thousands of species and its soils are a natural mantle that causes the proper development of plants and animals.
What is the tropical forest?
The tropical forest is the type of forest that experiences high rainfall due to its location, its humidity is relatively high throughout the year and the rain falls mainly during the afternoons so the mornings are sunny .
- Characteristics of the tropical forest
- Tropical forest climate
- Economic activity
- Importance of the tropical forest
Characteristics of the tropical forest
The general characteristics of tropical forests are:
- It has a rich biodiversity with many plant and animal species.
- Their soils are generally covered with humus which comes from the decomposition of leaves, fruits, feces and the corpses of dead animals.
- They have a lot of shade , as the trees are very close to each other.
- Its trees are approximately 30 to 50 meters high.
- It is hot most of the year, with average annual temperatures of 20º C.
- Its rains occur very frequently and are abundant.
- They occupy only 7% of the earth’s surface .
Animals mainly eat vegetables . Among the most common animals are the spider monkey, anteater, squirrel, motorcycle, porcupine, eagle, tapir, iguanas, crocodiles, snakes, spiders and insects. It is also common to find mammals of various sizes such as hares, rats or larger ones such as coyote, deer, puma, voles, quail pigeon, mountain hen and jaguar.
They have exuberant vegetation due to the large amount of solar energy and water they receive, the vegetation grows all year round, with trees that measure up to 60 meters in height. The leaves of the trees are wide and the roots of the trees are shallow. Many roots are tubular to give a better fixation to the plant.
The tops of the tallest trees block much of the sunlight from reaching the interior, which reduces the growth of several species of plants, but others develop on the trunks of the trees to seek light.
The soil is poor in mineral nutrients, but the recycling of organic matter is rapid. It takes two months for fungi and bacteria to decompose a leaf, which results in more mineral nutrients that are absorbed by the plants immediately and used in photosynthesis and metabolism .
Tropical forest climate
In the tropical forest we can find a climate with abundant rainfall and quite high temperatures throughout the year. Its temperature is usually between 25 ° C and 30 ° C. The rains occur only during the winter and never occur in the summer.
There are several types of tropical forest, among them we mention the following:
- Tropical rain forest : with warm temperatures all year round and rains . For example, the Amazon.
- Seasonal tropical forest : also called semi-evergreen because some trees renew their leaves. They have dry periods of 2 to 4 months.
- Dry tropical forest : its dry period lasts depending on the latitude , the longer it is, the longer the dry season. During drought , trees lose their leaves.
- Thorny tropical forest : formed by thorny trees , they are low forests and develop in dry climates , but they are humid.
- Deciduous tropical forest : its vegetation loses its leaves for a period of 5 to 8 months and during the rainy period they recover them. The climate is warm and its seasons are marked.
- Evergreen tropical forest : it has the most exuberant vegetation on earth, lack of water and heat are not factors that limit the development of plants.
The tropical forest climate is hot and humid all year round and the average temperature is 77 degrees Fahrenheit. This warm climate and abundant rainfall promote the perfect environment for the proper development of plants and animals.
Rainfall averages between 750 mm and 2,000 mm of annual rainfall, depending on the type of tropical forest to which we are referring.
The tropical forests are located in the area near the equator . One of the main areas where we can find the type of tropical dry forest climate is in the Peruvian equatorial forest .
The monsoon rainforest can be located in India , Southeast Asia , Central America , Mexico, and the Amazon . Finally, the tropical forest is located in the north of South America , in the south of North America, practically in all of Central America and also in the central part of Oceania .
Among the main economic activities that take place in the tropical forest we can mention the following:
- Cutting down trees for wood.
- Tourism , being one of the main ones.
- Obtaining resins .
- Generation of ingredients for drugs .
Importance of the tropical forest
Tropical forests are of utmost importance for the environment because they help to maintain the global temperature at adequate levels since they are large carbon reservoirs . Its diversity constitutes a well-being since plant species can give rise to new pharmaceutical products , non-timber forest products such as resins, fruits and fungi.
The protection of the hydrographic basins and the storage of carbon, extraction of materials and tourism are also given through them .
Some examples of tropical forest are:
- Equatorial dry forest
- Tropical dry forest
- Seasonal tropical forests
- Tropical rain forest