Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests

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General distribution of tropical moist forests

Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests (TSMF), also known as tropical moist forests, are a tropical and subtropical forest habitat type defined by the World Wide Fund for Nature.[1] The habitat type is sometimes known as jungle.

Contents

DescriptionEdit

 
Rainforest lining a river bank, Cameroon

TSMF are generally found in large, discontinuous patches centered on the equatorial belt and between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, TSMF are characterized by low variability in annual temperature and high levels of rainfall (>200 centimetres (79 in) annually). Forest composition is dominated by semi-evergreen and evergreen deciduous tree species. These trees number in the thousands and contribute to the highest levels of species diversity in any terrestrial major habitat type. In general, biodiversity is highest in the forest canopy. The canopy can be divided into five layers: overstory canopy with emergent crowns, a medium layer of canopy, lower canopy, shrub level, and finally understory.[1]

These forests are home to more species than any other terrestrial ecosystem: Half of the world's species may live in these forests, where a square kilometer may be home to more than 1,000 tree species. These forests are found around the world, particularly in the Indo-Malayan Archipelago, the Amazon Basin, and the African Congo Basin.[1]

A perpetually warm, wet climate promotes more explosive plant growth than in any other environment on Earth. A tree here may grow over 23 metres (75 ft) in height in just 5 years. From above, the forest appears as an unending sea of green, broken only by occasional, taller "emergent" trees. These towering emergents are the realm of hornbills, toucans, and the harpy eagle.[1]

The canopy is home to many of the forest's animals, including apes and monkeys. Below the canopy, a lower understory hosts to snakes and big cats. The forest floor, relatively clear of undergrowth due to the thick canopy above, is prowled by other animals such as gorillas and deer.[1]

All levels of these forests contain an unparalleled diversity of invertebrate species, including New Guinea’s stick insects and butterflies that can grow over 30 centimetres (1 ft) in length.[1]

Many forests are being cleared for farmland, while others are subject to large-scale commercial logging. An area the size of Ireland is destroyed every few years.[1]

TypesEdit

 
Tropical and subtropical moist forests (TSMF) as shown within the Holdridge Life Zones classification scheme, and includes moist forests, wet forests, and rainforests.[improper synthesis?]

The biome includes several types of forests:

Notable ecoregionsEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h   This article incorporates text available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license. World Wide Fund for Nature. "Tropical and Subtropical Moist Broadleaf Forest Ecoregions". Archived from the original on 2011-04-01. Retrieved 2019-05-29.
  2. ^ Terborgh, J; Winter, B (1983). "A method for siting parks and reserves with special reference to Colombia and Ecuador". Biological Conservation. 27: 45–58.
  3. ^ Whitmore, TC; Prance, GT, eds. (1987). Biogeography and Quaternary history in tropical America. Oxford Monographs on Biogeography. Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press.
  4. ^ Borhidi, A (1991). Phytogeography and vegetation ecology of Cuba. Budapest, Hungary: Akadémiai Kiadó.
  5. ^ Kingdon, J (1997). African mammals. San Diego, California, USA: Academic Press.
  6. ^ Review of the protected areas system in the Afrotropical Realm. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN/UNEP. 1986a.
  7. ^ Kingdon, J (1989). Island Africa: the evolution of Africa's rare animals and plants. Princeton, New Jersey, USA: Princeton University Press.
  8. ^ Hamilton, AC; Bensted-Smith, R (1989). Forest conservation in the East Usambara Mountains, Tanzania. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN.
  9. ^ Lovett, JC; Wasser, SK, eds. (1993). Biogeography and ecology of the rain forests of eastern Africa. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
  10. ^ Preston-Mafham, K (1991). Madagascar: A natural history. Oxford, UK: Facts on File.
  11. ^ Mittermeier, RA; Werner, TB; Lees, A (1996). "New Caledonia - a conservation imperative for an ancient land". Oryx. 30: 104–112.

External linksEdit