We explain what the tropical forest is, its flora, fauna, relief, climate and other characteristics. In addition, tropical forests in Mexico.
What is the tropical forest?
Tropical forests are those plant accumulations that are located in the intertropical zone . They are adapted to the warm climate of the tropics, varying instead with respect to their humidity. In some cases, such as that of the humid tropical forest, they are considered synonymous with the tropical rainforest, famous for its gigantic biodiversity and richness in plant and animal species.
Thus, tropical forests can be of three types, according to their relationship with the humidity of the environment:
- Tropical humid forests, with abundant and frequent rains, warm weather and humid, such as the South American Amazon.
- Tropical dry forests, semi-dense and with a lower margin of humidity, composed of xer filas and deciduous species.
- Tropical monsoon forests, typical of the monsoon climate that alternates between a very rainy season and a dry season, is considered the transition forest between the wetland and the dry
Tropical forests occupy vast swaths of our continents and are indispensable for life on the planet . On the one hand, they release a large amount of oxygen to the atmosphere daily. On the other hand, they fix a significant portion of the carbon in greenhouse gases (such as carbon dioxide).
However, they are in danger: deforestation, indiscriminate logging and climate change threaten to end them. With them the vital wealth of these ecosystems will be lost, so great that many of its endemic species have not yet been discovered by humans. It would be a tragedy that such a treasure was lost.
It can serve you: Rainforest
Characteristics of the tropical forest
It is a type of forest with a lot of leafiness and a lot of height . It is composed of a wide variety of species of large leaf, evergreen, capable of maintaining the humidity of the environment even during the dry season.
These forests extend for kilometers and are characteristic of Central America, South America, East Africa (especially Madagascar) and Asia Minor : Malaysia, Borneo or the Indo-Chinese region: Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia.
Tropical Forest Relief
Tropical forests proliferate in diverse reliefs, both in plains, valleys and foothills, as well as in the mountainous slopes, where they present vegetal and climatic steps as the height increases, giving rise to mountain forests.
They usually abound on the boundaries of rivers, lakes and it is not uncommon for them to give way to wetlands or mangroves as they approach the sea.
See also: Earth Ecosystem
Tropical Forest Fauna
The biodiversity of tropical forests is unparalleled, especially in the case of wet forests. Only certain marine coral reef ecosystems resemble it.
The number of species of insects, arachnids, reptiles, amphibians, marsupials and mammals, as well as small, medium and large birds is truly enormous. They even inhabit human beings more or less integrated into civilization, mainly at their external borders.
Among the species considered to be the tropical forest are South American toucans, Asian orangutans, tapir, golden eagle, and even devastating ants or grass cutters. The cute spider or tarantula, as well as the spider monkey, are some of the fascinating species that inhabit these forests.
More in: Forest Animals
Tropical forest flora
The tropical forest flora is also diverse and very tall, leafy and evergreen . The large branches and leaves absorb the intense sunlight, just 2% of which reaches the ground, given the dense forest. This also provides the soil and decomposing species with abundant organic matter and a large layer of humus.
The trees of the tropical forest reach up to 30 meters high, and among them the floral species predominate, so much so that it is estimated in these forests, 2/3 of all the flowers in the world are found .
The variety is huge, reaching 100 different species in just one hectare of forest . However, we can mention orchids, bananas, rubber trees, bromeliads and poinsettias as typical plant species.
Tropical Forest Climate
The tropical climate is generally warm, with temperatures always above 18 C that reach various degrees above 30 C. It is a very stable climate, with no seasons that vary the temperature.
However, there is a rainy season and a dry season . Precipitation is abundant during the rainy season, reaching or exceeding 3000 mm of rain, and nonexistent during the dry season, obviously.
It can serve you: Temperate Forest
Tropical forests in Mexico
The Mexican tropical forests are located southeast of the country, extending into the territory of Guatemala. In the states of Chiapas, Tabasco and Campeche, and on the Yucatan peninsula, these long stretches of rainforest have a high number of endemic species.
There are many initiatives to protect these ecosystems from indiscriminate logging. It is estimated that in 1940 the Lacandona jungle covered some 15, 000 square km, figures that today are well below.
Continue with: Peruvian jungle