Tropical forest

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Tropical rain and wet forests

Tropical forests are found between the equator and 23.5 ° north and south latitude. The temperatures and day lengths are relatively constant in these areas, so that the vegetation seasons are determined by the very variable rainfall. Tropical forests are divided into tropical dry forests (42%), tropical deciduous forests (32%, especially monsoon forests ) and tropical rainforests (25%).

Since 2001 the collection of satellite data has been started to document the loss of the tropical forest. According to an annual Global Forest Watch report from the University of Maryland, the loss of tropical forest in 2018 was 120,000 km², the third highest loss recorded to date.

Tropical dry forests

Tropical dry forests can be found in low-lying areas where there are extensive periods of drought. Mainly thorny bushes and trees, as well as succulents grow here . The leaves of the trees are pinnate or robinia-shaped and the trees have broad canopy of the acacia type, are largely fireproof and have roots that go down to the groundwater (up to 40 m). Examples of tropical dry forests are the zebil forests of the Gran Chaco , the Miombo forests of East Africa, the Mopane forests of Angola and the teak forests of Southeast Asia .

Tropical deciduous forests

Tropical deciduous forests are found in areas with extensive rainy and drought seasons. When the water loss through transpiration exceeds the water supply, the leaves are thrown off as protection against dehydration. The plants do not sprout again until the next heavy monsoon or rainy season. These forests are also called tropical wet forests. The form adapted to the monsoon climate is called monsoon forest and is a subspecies of tropical deciduous forests.

Tropical rainforests

The tropical rainforest is located near the equator between 10 ° south and 10 ° north latitude, where rainfall occurs regularly and exceeds approx. 250 centimeters per year. There are no pronounced dry seasons - in contrast to the two other types, the forest is always moist and evergreen . It is home to the greatest biodiversity , and the tree species can reach heights of up to 60 meters.


  • Richard Pott: General Geobotany: Biogeosystems and Biodiversity . Springer, 2005, ISBN 9783540275275
  • Jörg S. Pfadenhauer, Frank A. Klötzli: Vegetation of the earth: Fundamentals, ecology, distribution . Springer, 2015, ISBN 9783642419508

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Environmental destruction in 2018 Rainforest destroyed from the area of ​​England. In: May 24, 2019, accessed August 3, 2019 .