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?
The forests tropical are those vegetable accumulations that are located in the intertropical zone . They are adapted to the warm climate of the tropics, varying instead with respect to its humidity. In some cases, such as that of the humid tropical forest, they are considered synonymous with the 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 and humid climate, such as the South American Amazon.
- Tropical dry forests , semi-dense and with a lower humidity margin, composed of xerophilous and deciduous species.
- Monsoon tropical forests , typical of the monsoon climate that alternates between a very rainy season and a dry season, is considered the transitional forest between wet and dry.
Tropical forests occupy vast swaths of our continents and are indispensable for life on the planet . On the one hand, daily they release a large amount of oxygen into the atmosphere. 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 would 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.
Tropical forest characteristics
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 various reliefs, both in plains, valleys and foothills, as well as on the mountainous slopes , where they have 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.
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.
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 are 2/3 of all the flowers in the world .
The variety is huge, reaching 100 different species in just one hectare of forest . However, we can mention orchids, bananas, rubber trees, bromeliads and Easter flowers 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.
Tropical forests in Mexico
Mexican tropical forests are located southeast of the country, extending into the territory of Guatemala. In the states of Chiapas, Tabasco and Campeche, and in 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 Lacandon jungle covered about 15,000 square kilometers, figures that today are well below.