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Tropical rainforests are
rainforest Rainforests are characterized by a closed and continuous tree canopy Canopy may refer to: Plants * Canopy (biology), aboveground portion of plant community or crop (including forests) * Canopy (grape), aboveground portion of grapevine Religi ...

rainforest
s that occur in areas of
tropical rainforest climate A tropical rainforest climate or equatorial climate is a tropical climate Tropical climate is one of the five major climate groups in the Köppen climate classification The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate ...
in which there is no
dry season The dry season is a yearly period of low rainfall, especially in the tropics The tropics are the region of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of ...
– all months have an average
precipitation In meteorology Meteorology is a branch of the (which include and ), with a major focus on . The study of meteorology dates back , though significant progress in meteorology did not begin until the 18th century. The 19th century saw mod ...

precipitation
of at least 60 mm – and may also be referred to as ''lowland equatorial evergreen rainforest''. True rainforests are typically found between 10 degrees north and south of the
equator The Equator is a circle of latitude, about in circumference, that divides Earth into the Northern Hemisphere, Northern and Southern Hemisphere, Southern hemispheres. It is an imaginary line located at 0 degrees latitude, halfway between the N ...

equator
(see map); they are a sub-set of the
tropical forest The tropics are the region of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. The remaining 70.8% is ...

tropical forest
biome A biome is a collection of plants Plants are predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to Energy transformation, convert light energy into chemical energy that, through cellular respi ...
that occurs roughly within the 28-degree latitudes (in the equatorial zone between the
Tropic of Cancer The Tropic of Cancer, which is also referred to as the Northern Tropic, is the most northerly circle of latitude In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted ...

Tropic of Cancer
and
Tropic of Capricorn The Tropic of Capricorn (or the Southern Tropic) is the that contains the at the December (or southern) . It is thus the southernmost latitude where the Sun can be seen directly overhead. It also reaches 90 degrees below the horizon at solar ...
). Within the
World Wildlife Fund In its most general sense, the term "world" refers to the totality of entities, to the whole of reality or to everything that is. The nature of the world has been conceptualized differently in different fields. Some conceptions see the worl ...
's biome classification, tropical rainforests are a type of
tropical moist broadleaf forest Tropical and subtropical moist forest (TSMF), also known as tropical moist forest, is a tropical and subtropical forest habitat (ecology), habitat type defined by the World Wide Fund for Nature. The habitat type is sometimes known as jungle. D ...
(or tropical wet forest) that also includes the more extensive
seasonal tropical forest Seasonal tropical forest, also known as moist deciduous, semi-evergreen seasonal, tropical mixed or monsoon forests, typically contain a range of tree species: only some of which drop some or all of their leaves during the dry season. This tropical ...
s.


Overview

Tropical rainforests can be characterized in two words: hot and wet. Mean monthly temperatures exceed during all months of the year. Average annual rainfall is no less than and can exceed although it typically lies between and . This high level of
precipitation In meteorology Meteorology is a branch of the (which include and ), with a major focus on . The study of meteorology dates back , though significant progress in meteorology did not begin until the 18th century. The 19th century saw mod ...

precipitation
often results in poor
soil Soil is a mixture In chemistry Chemistry is the science, scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that covers the Chemical element, elements that make up matter to the chemical compound, comp ...

soil
s due to leaching of soluble nutrients in the ground. Tropical rainforests exhibit high levels of biodiversity. Around 40% to 75% of all biotic
species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodiversity. A species is often defined as the largest group of organisms in which any two individu ...

species
are
indigenous Indigenous may refer to: *Indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous people, are culturally distinct ethnic groups who are native to a particular place. The term ' ...
to the rainforests. Rainforests are home to half of all the living animal and plant species on the planet.The Regents of the
University of Michigan , mottoeng = "Arts, Knowledge, Truth" , former_names = Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania (1817–1821) , budget = $8.99 billion (2018) , endowment = $17 billion (2021)As of October 25, 2021. ...

University of Michigan

The Tropical Rain Forest.
Retrieved on 14 March 2008.
Two-thirds of all flowering plants can be found in rainforests. A single hectare of rainforest may contain 42,000 different species of insect, up to 807 trees of 313 species and 1,500 species of higher plants. Tropical rainforests have been called the " world's largest pharmacy", because over one quarter of natural
medicine Medicine is the science Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity, awareness, or understanding of someone or something, such as facts ( descriptive knowledge), skills (proced ...

medicine
s have been discovered within them. It is likely that there may be many millions of species of plants, insects and
microorganism A microorganism, or microbe,, ''mikros'', "small") and ''organism In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes ...
s still undiscovered in tropical rainforests. Tropical rainforests are among the most threatened ecosystems globally due to large-scale fragmentation as a result of human activity.
Habitat fragmentation Habitat fragmentation describes the emergence of discontinuities (fragmentation) in an organism's preferred environment Environment most often refers to: __NOTOC__ * Natural environment, all living and non-living things occurring naturally * Biop ...
caused by geological processes such as volcanism and climate change occurred in the past, and have been identified as important drivers of speciation. However, fast human driven habitat destruction is suspected to be one of the major causes of species extinction. Tropical rain forests have been subjected to heavy
logging Logging is the process of cutting, processing, and moving trees to a location for transport. It may include skidder, skidding, on-site processing, and loading of trees or trunk (botany), logs onto logging truck, trucks or flatcar#Skeleton car, s ...

logging
and throughout the 20th century, and the area covered by rainforests around the world is rapidly shrinking.


History

Tropical rainforests have existed on earth for hundreds of millions of years. Most tropical rainforests today are on fragments of the
Mesozoic era The Mesozoic Era ( ), also called the Age of Reptiles and the Age of Conifers, is the second-to-last era An era is a span of time defined for the purposes of chronology 222px, Joseph Scaliger's ''De emendatione temporum'' (1583) began the ...
supercontinent of
Gondwana Gondwana () or Gondwanaland was a supercontinent In geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is an Earth science concerned with the solid Earth, the rock (ge ...

Gondwana
. The separation of the landmass resulted in a great loss of amphibian diversity while at the same time the drier climate spurred the diversification of reptiles. The division left tropical rainforests located in five major regions of the world: tropical America, Africa, Southeast Asia, Madagascar, and New Guinea, with smaller outliers in Australia. However, the specifics of the origin of rainforests remain uncertain due to an incomplete fossil record.


Other types of tropical forest

Several biomes may appear similar-to, or merge via
ecotone An ecotone is a transition area between two biological communities, where two communities meet and integrate. It may be narrow or wide, and it may be local (the zone between a field and forest) or regional (the transition between forest and gra ...
s with, tropical rainforest: ;Moist seasonal tropical forest: Moist
seasonal tropical forest Seasonal tropical forest, also known as moist deciduous, semi-evergreen seasonal, tropical mixed or monsoon forests, typically contain a range of tree species: only some of which drop some or all of their leaves during the dry season. This tropical ...
s receive high overall rainfall with a warm summer wet season and a cooler winter dry season. Some trees in these forests drop some or all of their leaves during the winter dry season, thus they are sometimes called "tropical mixed forest". They are found in parts of South America, in
Central America Central America ( es, América Central, , ''Centroamérica'' ) is a region of the Americas The Americas (also collectively called America) is a landmass comprising the totality of North North is one of the four compass points or ...

Central America
and around the
Caribbean The Caribbean (, ; es, Caribe; french: Caraïbes; ht, Karayib; also gcf, label=Antillean Creole Antillean Creole (Antillean French Creole, Kreyol, Kwéyòl, Patois) is a French-based creole, which is primarily spoken in the Lesser Antilles ...
, in coastal
West Africa West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of Africa. The United Nations defines Western Africa as the 17 countries of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania ...

West Africa
, parts of the Indian subcontinent, and across much of
Indochina Mainland Southeast Asia, also known as the Indochinese Peninsula or Indochina, is the continental portion of Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is t ...
. ;Montane rainforests: These are found in cooler-climate mountainous areas, becoming known as
cloud forest A cloud forest, also called a water forest, primas forest, or tropical montane cloud forest (TMCF), is a generally tropical The tropics are the region of Earth surrounding the Equator. They are delimited in latitude by the Tropic of Cance ...

cloud forest
s at higher elevations. Depending on latitude, the lower limit of montane rainforests on large mountains is generally between 1500 and 2500 m while the upper limit is usually from 2400 to 3300 m. ;Flooded rainforests: Tropical freshwater swamp forests, or "flooded forests", are found in Amazon basin (the Várzea) and elsewhere.


Forest structure

Rainforests are divided into different strata, or layers, with vegetation organized into a vertical pattern from the top of the soil to the canopy. Each layer is a unique biotic community containing different plants and animals adapted for life in that particular strata. Only the emergent layer is unique to tropical rainforests, while the others are also found in temperate rainforests.


Forest floor

The
forest floor The forest floor, also called detritus, wikt:duff#Noun 2, duff and the O horizon, is one of the most distinctive features of a forest ecosystem. It mainly consists of shed vegetative parts, such as leaves, branches, bark, and stems, existing in ...
, the bottom-most layer, receives only 2% of the sunlight. Only plants
adapted In biology, adaptation has three related meanings. Firstly, it is the dynamic evolutionary process that fits organisms to their environment, enhancing their Fitness (biology), evolutionary fitness. Secondly, it is a state reached by the popula ...

adapted
to low light can grow in this region. Away from riverbanks, swamps and clearings, where dense undergrowth is found, the forest floor is relatively clear of vegetation because of the low sunlight penetration. This more open quality permits the easy movement of larger animals such as: ungulates like the
okapi The okapi (; ''Okapia johnstoni''), also known as the forest giraffe, Congolese giraffe, or zebra giraffe, is an artiodactyl mammal that is endemic to the northeast Democratic Republic of the Congo in central Africa. Although the okapi has st ...

okapi
(''Okapia johnstoni''),
tapir A tapir ( ) is a large, herbivorous A herbivore is an animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the Kingdom (biology), biological kingdom Animalia. With few exceptions, animals Heterotro ...

tapir
(''Tapirus'' sp.),
Sumatran rhinoceros The Sumatran rhinoceros, also known as the hairy rhinoceros or Asian two-horned rhinoceros (''Dicerorhinus sumatrensis''), is a rare member of the family Rhinocerotidae and one of five extant species of rhinoceros. It is the only Extant taxon, ...
(''Dicerorhinus sumatrensis''), and apes like the
western lowland gorilla The western lowland gorilla (''Gorilla gorilla gorilla'') is one of two Critically Endangered subspecies of the western gorilla The western gorilla (''Gorilla gorilla'') is a great ape—the type species as well as the most populous species o ...

western lowland gorilla
(''Gorilla gorilla''), as well as many species of reptiles, amphibians, and insects. The forest floor also contains decaying plant and animal matter, which disappears quickly, because the warm, humid conditions promote rapid decay. Many forms of
fungi A fungus (plural The plural (sometimes abbreviated An abbreviation (from Latin ''brevis'', meaning ''short'') is a shortened form of a word or phrase, by any method. It may consist of a group of letters, or words taken from the full ...

fungi
growing here help decay the animal and plant waste.


Understory layer

The understory layer lies between the canopy and the forest floor. The understory is home to a number of birds, small mammals, insects, reptiles, and predators. Examples include
leopard The leopard (''Panthera pardus'') is one of the five extant in the ', a member of the cat , . It occurs in a wide range in , in some parts of and , , and on the to and . It is listed as on the because leopard populations are threatened ...

leopard
(''Panthera pardus''),
poison dart frog Poison dart frog (also known as dart-poison frog, poison frog or formerly known as poison arrow frog) is the common name of a group of frog A frog is any member of a diverse and largely Carnivore, carnivorous group of short-bodied, tailless ...
s (''Dendrobates'' sp.), ring-tailed coati (''Nasua nasua''), (''Boa constrictor''), and many species of
Coleoptera Beetles are a group of insect Insects (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known a ...

Coleoptera
. The vegetation at this layer generally consists of shade-tolerant shrubs, herbs, small trees, and large woody vines which climb into the trees to capture sunlight. Only about 5% of sunlight breaches the canopy to arrive at the understory causing true understory plants to seldom grow to 3 m (10 feet). As an adaptation to these low light levels, understory plants have often evolved much larger leaves. Many seedlings that will grow to the canopy level are in the understory.


Canopy layer

The canopy is the primary layer of the forest, forming a roof over the two remaining layers. It contains the majority of the largest trees, typically 30–45 m in height. Tall, broad-leaved
evergreen trees In botany, an evergreen is a plant which has foliage that remains green and functional through more than one growing season. This also pertains to plants that retain their foliage only in warm climates, and contrasts with deciduous plants, which c ...

evergreen trees
are the dominant plants. The densest areas of
biodiversity Biodiversity is the biological variety and Genetic variability, variability of life, life on Earth. Biodiversity is a measure of variation at the Genetics, genetic, species, and ecosystem level. Terrestrial biodiversity is usually greater near ...

biodiversity
are found in the forest canopy, as it often supports a rich flora of
epiphytes 200px, '' Tillandsia bourgaei'' growing on an oak tree in Mexico An epiphyte is an organism that grows on the surface of a plant and derives its moisture and nutrients from the air, rain, water (in marine environments) or from debris accumulating a ...

epiphytes
, including orchids, bromeliads, mosses and lichens. These epiphytic plants attach to trunks and branches and obtain water and minerals from rain and debris that collects on the supporting plants. The fauna is similar to that found in the emergent layer, but more diverse. It is suggested that the total arthropod species richness of the tropical canopy might be as high as 20 million. Other species habituating this layer include many avian species such as the yellow-casqued wattled hornbill (''Ceratogymna elata''), collared sunbird (''Anthreptes collaris''),
grey parrot The grey parrot (''Psittacus erithacus''), also known as the Congo grey parrot, Congo African grey parrot or African grey parrot, is an Old World parrot in the family Psittacidae. The Timneh parrot ''(Psittacus timneh)'' once was identified as a ...

grey parrot
(''Psitacus erithacus''),
keel-billed toucan The keel-billed toucan (''Ramphastos sulfuratus''), also known as sulfur-breasted toucan or rainbow-billed toucan, is a colorful Latin American member of the toucan Toucans (, ) are members of the Neotropical near passerine bird Family (biolo ...

keel-billed toucan
(''Ramphastos sulfuratus''),
scarlet macaw The scarlet macaw (''Ara macao'') is a large red, yellow, and blue Central and South American parrot Parrots, also known as psittacines , are bird Birds are a group of warm-blooded vertebrates constituting the class (biology), class Av ...

scarlet macaw
(''Ara macao'') as well as other animals like the
spider monkey Spider monkeys are New World monkey New World monkeys are the five families of primate A primate ( ) (from Latin , from 'prime, first rank') is a eutheria Eutheria (; from Greek , 'good, right' and , 'beast'; ) is the clade A cl ...
(''Ateles'' sp.), African giant swallowtail (''''),
three-toed sloth The three-toed sloths are arboreal Arboreal locomotion is the locomotion of animals in trees. In habitats in which trees are present, animals have evolved to move in them. Some animals may scale trees only occasionally, but others are exclusiv ...
(''Bradypus tridactylus''),
kinkajou The kinkajou ( /ˈkɪŋkədʒuː/ ''KING-kə-joo''; ''Potos flavus'') is a tropical rainforest File:Koppen-Geiger Map Af present.svg, upright=1.8, Tropical rainforest climate zones (Af). Tropical rainforests are rainforests that occur in are ...

kinkajou
(''Potos flavus''), and
tamandua ''Tamandua'' is a genus Genus (plural genera) is a taxonomic rank Taxonomy (general) is the practice and science of classification of things or concepts, including the principles that underlie such classification. The term may also refer to a ...

tamandua
(''Tamandua tetradactyla'').


Emergent layer

The emergent layer contains a small number of very large
trees In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that Scientific method, builds and Taxonomy (general), organiz ...

trees
, called ''emergents'', which grow above the general
canopy Canopy may refer to: Plants * Canopy (biology), aboveground portion of plant community or crop (including forests) * Canopy (grape), aboveground portion of grapevine Religion and ceremonies * Baldachin or canopy of state, typically placed over an ...
, reaching heights of 45–55 m, although on occasion a few species will grow to 70–80 m tall. Some examples of emergents include: '' Balizia elegans'', '' Dipteryx panamensis'', '' Hieronyma alchorneoides'', '' Hymenolobium mesoamericanum'', '' Lecythis ampla'' and '' Terminalia oblonga''. These trees need to be able to withstand the hot temperatures and strong winds that occur above the canopy in some areas. Several unique faunal species inhabit this layer such as the
crowned eagle The crowned eagle, also known as the African crowned eagle or the crowned hawk-eagle (''Stephanoaetus coronatus'') is a large bird of prey found in sub-Saharan Africa; in Southern Africa it is restricted to eastern areas.Sinclair & Ryan (2003). ...

crowned eagle
(''Stephanoaetus coronatus''), the
king colobus The king colobus (''Colobus polykomos''), also known as the western black-and-white colobus, is a species of Old World monkey Old World monkey is the common English name for a family In human society, family (from la, familia) is a grou ...
(''Colobus polykomos''), and the
large flying fox The large flying fox (''Pteropus vampyrus'', formerly ''Pteropus giganteus''), also known as the greater flying fox, Malayan flying fox, Malaysian flying fox, large fruit bat, kalang, or kalong, is a southeast Asian species of megabat in the fam ...
(''Pteropus vampyrus''). However,
stratification Stratification may refer to: In mathematics: * Stratification (mathematics), any consistent assignment of numbers to predicate symbols * Stratified sampling , Data stratification in statistics In earth sciences: * Stable and unstable stratificati ...
is not always clear. Rainforests are dynamic and many changes affect the structure of the forest. Emergent or canopy trees collapse, for example, causing gaps to form. Openings in the forest canopy are widely recognized as important for the establishment and growth of rainforest trees. It is estimated that perhaps 75% of the tree species at La Selva Biological Station, Costa Rica are dependent on canopy opening for seed germination or for growth beyond sapling size, for example.


Ecology


Climates

Tropical rainforests are located around and near the equator, therefore having what is called an equatorial climate characterized by three major climatic parameters: temperature, rainfall, and dry season intensity. Other parameters that affect tropical rainforests are carbon dioxide concentrations, solar radiation, and nitrogen availability. In general, climatic patterns consist of warm temperatures and high annual rainfall. However, the abundance of rainfall changes throughout the year creating distinct moist and dry seasons. Tropical forests are classified by the amount of rainfall received each year, which has allowed ecologists to define differences in these forests that look so similar in structure. According to Holdridge's classification of tropical ecosystems, true tropical rainforests have an annual rainfall greater than 2 m and annual temperature greater than 24 degrees Celsius, with a
potential evapotranspiration Evapotranspiration (ET) is the sum of water evaporation File:10. Ладење при испарување.ogv, 280px, Demonstration of evaporative cooling. When the sensor is dipped in ethanol and then taken out to evaporate, the instrument sh ...
ratio (PET) value of <0.25. However, most lowland
tropical forest The tropics are the region of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. The remaining 70.8% is ...

tropical forest
s can be classified as tropical moist or wet forests, which differ in regards to rainfall. Tropical forest ecology- dynamics, composition, and function- are sensitive to changes in climate especially changes in rainfall.


Soils


Soil types

Soil types are highly variable in the tropics and are the result of a combination of several variables such as climate, vegetation, topographic position, parent material, and soil age. Most tropical soils are characterized by significant leaching and poor nutrients, however there are some areas that contain fertile soils. Soils throughout the tropical rainforests fall into two classifications which include the
ultisols Ultisols, commonly known as red clay soils, are one of twelve soil orders in the USDA soil taxonomy, United States Department of Agriculture soil taxonomy. The word "Ultisol" is derived from "ultimate", because Ultisols were seen as the ultimate ...
and
oxisols Oxisols are a soil File:Stagnogley.JPG, Surface-water-Gley soil, gley developed in glacial till, Northern Ireland. Soil is a mixture of organic matter, minerals, gases, liquids, and organisms that together support life. Earth's body of soil, ...
. Ultisols are known as well weathered, acidic red clay soils, deficient in major nutrients such as calcium and potassium. Similarly, oxisols are acidic, old, typically reddish, highly weathered and leached, however are well drained compared to ultisols. The clay content of ultisols is high, making it difficult for water to penetrate and flow through. The reddish color of both soils is the result of heavy heat and moisture forming oxides of iron and aluminium, which are insoluble in water and not taken up readily by plants. Soil chemical and physical characteristics are strongly related to above ground productivity and forest structure and dynamics. The physical properties of soil control the tree turnover rates whereas chemical properties such as available nitrogen and phosphorus control forest growth rates. The soils of the eastern and central Amazon as well as the Southeast Asian Rainforest are old and mineral poor whereas the soils of the western Amazon (Ecuador and Peru) and volcanic areas of Costa Rica are young and mineral rich. Primary productivity or wood production is highest in western Amazon and lowest in eastern Amazon which contains heavily weathered soils classified as oxisols. Additionally, Amazonian soils are greatly weathered, making them devoid of minerals like phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and magnesium, which come from rock sources. However, not all tropical rainforests occur on nutrient poor soils, but on nutrient rich floodplains and volcanic soils located in the Andean foothills, and volcanic areas of Southeast Asia, Africa, and Central America. Oxisols, infertile, deeply weathered and severely leached, have developed on the ancient
Gondwana Gondwana () or Gondwanaland was a supercontinent In geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is an Earth science concerned with the solid Earth, the rock (ge ...

Gondwana
n
shields A shield is a piece of personal armour held in the hand, which may or may not be strapped to the wrist or forearm. Shields are used to intercept specific attacks, whether from melee weapon, close-ranged weaponry or projectiles such as arrows, by ...
. Rapid bacterial decay prevents the accumulation of humus. The concentration of iron and aluminium oxides by the laterization process gives the oxisols a bright red color and sometimes produces minable deposits (e.g.,
bauxite Bauxite is a sedimentary rock Sedimentary rocks are types of rock (geology), rock that are formed by the accumulation or deposition of mineral or organic matter, organic particles at Earth#Surface, Earth's surface, followed by cementation ( ...

bauxite
). On younger substrates, especially of volcanic origin, tropical soils may be quite fertile.


Nutrient recycling

This high rate of decomposition is the result of phosphorus levels in the soils, precipitation, high temperatures and the extensive microorganism communities. In addition to the bacteria and other microorganisms, there are an abundance of other
decomposer Decomposers are Organism, organisms that break down dead or decaying organisms; they carry out decomposition, a process possible by only certain kingdoms, such as fungi. Like herbivores and predators, decomposers are heterotrophic, meaning that t ...
s such as fungi and termites that aid in the process as well. Nutrient recycling is important because below ground resource availability controls the above ground biomass and community structure of tropical rainforests. These soils are typically phosphorus limited, which inhibits net primary productivity or the uptake of carbon. The soil contains microbial organisms such as bacteria, which break down leaf litter and other organic matter into inorganic forms of carbon usable by plants through a process called decomposition. During the decomposition process the microbial community is respiring, taking up oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide. The decomposition rate can be evaluated by measuring the uptake of oxygen. High temperatures and precipitation increase decomposition rate, which allows plant litter to rapidly decay in tropical regions, releasing nutrients that are immediately taken up by plants through surface or ground waters. The seasonal patterns in respiration are controlled by leaf litter fall and precipitation, the driving force moving the decomposable carbon from the litter to the soil. Respiration rates are highest early in the wet season because the recent dry season results in a large percentage of leaf litter and thus a higher percentage of organic matter being leached into the soil.


Buttress roots

A common feature of many tropical rainforests is the distinct
buttress root Buttress roots are large, wide root In vascular plants, the roots are the plant organ, organs of a plant that are modified to provide anchorage for the plant and take in water and nutrients into the plant body, which allows plants to grow tal ...
s of trees. Instead of penetrating to deeper soil layers, buttress roots create a widespread root network at the surface for more efficient uptake of nutrients in a very nutrient poor and competitive environment. Most of the nutrients within the soil of a tropical rainforest occur near the surface because of the rapid turnover time and decomposition of organisms and leaves. Because of this, the buttress roots occur at the surface so the trees can maximize uptake and actively compete with the rapid uptake of other trees. These roots also aid in water uptake and storage, increase surface area for gas exchange, and collect leaf litter for added nutrition. Additionally, these roots reduce soil erosion and maximize nutrient acquisition during heavy rains by diverting nutrient rich water flowing down the trunk into several smaller flows while also acting as a barrier to ground flow. Also, the large surface areas these roots create provide support and stability to rainforests trees, which commonly grow to significant heights. This added stability allows these trees to withstand the impacts of severe storms, thus reducing the occurrence of fallen trees.


Forest succession

Succession is an ecological process that changes the biotic community structure over time towards a more stable, diverse community structure after an initial disturbance to the community. The initial disturbance is often a natural phenomenon or human caused event. Natural disturbances include hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, river movements or an event as small as a fallen tree that creates gaps in the forest. In tropical rainforests, these same natural disturbances have been well documented in the fossil record, and are credited with encouraging speciation and endemism. Human land use practices have led to large-scale deforestation. In many tropical countries such as Costa Rica these deforested lands have been abandoned and forests have been allowed to regenerate through ecological succession. These regenerating young successional forests are called secondary forests or second-growth forests.


Biodiversity and speciation

Tropical rainforests exhibit a vast diversity in plant and animal species. The root for this remarkable speciation has been a query of scientists and
ecologists This is a list of notable ecologists. A-D * John Aber (United States) * Aziz Ab'Saber (Brazil) * Charles Christopher Adams (United States) * Warder Clyde Allee (USA) * H. G. Andrewartha, Herbert G. Andrewartha (Australia) * Sarah Martha Baker ( ...
for years. A number of theories have been developed for why and how the tropics can be so diverse.


Interspecific competition

Interspecific competition Interspecific competition, in ecology Ecology (from el, οἶκος, "house" and el, -λογία, label=none, "study of") is the study of the relationships between living organisms, including humans, and their physical environment. Ecology ...
results from a high density of species with similar niches in the tropics and limited resources available. Species which "lose" the competition may either become extinct or find a new niche. Direct competition will often lead to one species dominating another by some advantage, ultimately driving it to extinction. Niche partitioning is the other option for a species. This is the separation and rationing of necessary resources by utilizing different habitats, food sources, cover or general behavioral differences. A species with similar food items but different feeding times is an example of niche partitioning.


Pliestocene refugia

The theory of Pleistocene refugia was developed by
Jürgen HafferJürgen Haffer (9 December 1932 in Berlin – 26 April 2010 in Essen) was a Germans, German ornithologist, Biogeography, biogeographer, and geologist. He is most remembered for his theory of Amazonian forest Refugium (population biology), refugia dur ...
in 1969 with his article ''Speciation of Amazonian Forest Birds''. Haffer proposed the explanation for speciation was the product of rainforest patches being separated by stretches of non-forest vegetation during the last glacial period. He called these patches of rainforest areas refuges and within these patches allopatric speciation occurred. With the end of the glacial period and increase in atmospheric humidity, rainforest began to expand and the refuges reconnected. This theory has been the subject of debate. Scientists are still skeptical of whether or not this theory is legitimate. Genetic evidence suggests speciation had occurred in certain taxa 1–2 million years ago, preceding the
Pleistocene The Pleistocene ( , often referred to as the ''Ice Age'') is the geological Epoch (geology), epoch that lasted from about 2,580,000 to 11,700 years ago, spanning the earth’s most recent period of repeated glaciations. Before a change finally ...
.


Human dimensions


Habitation

Tropical rainforests have harboured human life for many millennia, with many Indian tribes in South- and Central America, who belong to the
Indigenous peoples of the Americas The Indigenous peoples of the Americas, also known as Amerindians or Indians, are the inhabitants of the Americas The Americas (also collectively called America) is a landmass comprising the totality of North North is one of the fo ...
, the
Congo Pygmies The African Pygmies (or Congo Pygmies, variously also "Central African foragers", "African rainforest hunter-gatherers" (RHG) or "Forest People of Central Africa") are a group of ethnicities native Native may refer to: People * Jus soli, ci ...
in Central Africa, and several tribes in South-East Asia, like the
Dayak people Dayak may refer to: * Dayak people The Dayak (; Van Ophuijsen Spelling System, older spelling: Dajak) or Dyak or Dayuh are one of the Indigenous groups, native groups of Borneo. It is a loose term for over 200 riverine and hill-dwelling ethni ...
and the
Penan people The Penan are a nomad A nomad ( frm, nomade "people without fixed habitation") is a member of a community without fixed habitation who regularly moves to and from the same areas. Such groups include hunter-gatherers, Nomadic pastoralism, pas ...
in
Borneo Borneo (; id, Kalimantan) is the third-List of islands by area, largest island in the world and the largest in Asia. At the geographic centre of Maritime Southeast Asia, in relation to major Indonesian islands, it is located north of Java Is ...

Borneo
. Food resources within the forest are extremely dispersed due to the high biological diversity and what food does exist is largely restricted to the canopy and requires considerable energy to obtain. Some groups of hunter-gatherers have exploited rainforest on a seasonal basis but dwelt primarily in adjacent savanna and open
forest A forest is an area of land dominated by tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or trunk (botany), trunk, supporting branches and leaves in most species. In some usages, the definition of a ...

forest
environments where food is much more abundant. Other people described as rainforest dwellers are hunter-gatherers who subsist in large part by trading high value forest products such as hides, feathers, and honey with agricultural people living outside the forest.


Indigenous peoples

A variety of indigenous people live within the rainforest as hunter-gatherers, or subsist as part-time small scale farmers supplemented in large part by trading high-value forest products such as hides, feathers, and honey with agricultural people living outside the forest. Peoples have inhabited the rainforests for tens of thousands of years and have remained so elusive that only recently have some tribes been discovered. These indigenous peoples are greatly threatened by loggers in search for old-growth tropical hardwoods like Ipe, Cumaru and Wenge, and by farmers who are looking to expand their land, for cattle(meat), and soybeans, which are used to feed cattle in Europe and China. On 18 January 2007,
FUNAI is a Japanese consumer electronics Consumer electronics or home electronics are electronic Electronic may refer to: *Electronics Electronics comprises the physics, engineering, technology and applications that deal with the emission, ...
reported also that it had confirmed the presence of 67 different in Brazil, up from 40 in 2005. With this addition,
Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers (3.2 million square miles) and with over 211 mill ...

Brazil
has now overtaken the island of
New Guinea New Guinea (; Hiri Motu Hiri Motu, also known as Police Motu, Pidgin Motu, or just Hiri, is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign ...

New Guinea
as the country having the largest number of uncontacted tribes. The province of
Irian Jaya New Guinea (; Hiri Motu Hiri Motu, also known as Police Motu, Pidgin Motu, or just Hiri, is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign ...
or West Papua in the island of New Guinea is home to an estimated 44 uncontacted tribal groups. The pygmy peoples are hunter-gatherer groups living in equatorial rainforests characterized by their short height (below one and a half meters, or 59 inches, on average). Amongst this group are the Efe, Aka,
Twa The Twa (also Batwa or Cwa) are a group of indigenous African Pygmy (Central African foragers) tribes. Overview Twa, also called Batwa, one of the best-known of the many Pygmy groups scattered across equatorial Africa. Like all other Af ...
, Baka, and
Mbuti The Mbuti people, or Bambuti, are one of several indigenous Indigenous may refer to: *Indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous people, are culturally distinc ...
people of Central Africa. However, the term pygmy is considered pejorative so many tribes prefer not to be labeled as such.Forest peoples in the central African rain forest: focus on the pygmies
fao.org
Some notable
indigenous peoples of the Americas The Indigenous peoples of the Americas, also known as Amerindians or Indians, are the inhabitants of the Americas The Americas (also collectively called America) is a landmass comprising the totality of North North is one of the fo ...
, or Amerindians, include the
Huaorani The Huaorani, Waorani, or Waodani, also known as the Waos, are native Amerindians from the Amazonian Region of Ecuador Ecuador ( ; ; Quechuan languages, Quechua: ''Ikwayur''; Shuar language, Shuar: ''Ecuador'' or ''Ekuatur''), officially ...
, Ya̧nomamö, and
Kayapo The Kayapo (Portuguese language, Portuguese: Caiapó ) people are the indigenous people in Brazil who inhabit a vast area spreading across the states of Pará and Mato Grosso, south of the Amazon River and along Xingu River and its tributaries. Th ...
people of the
Amazon Amazon usually refers to: * Amazons In Greek mythology, the Amazons (Ancient Greek: Ἀμαζόνες ''Amazónes'', singular Ἀμαζών ''Amazōn'') are portrayed in a number of ancient Greek, ancient epic poems and legends, such as the ...

Amazon
. The traditional agricultural system practiced by tribes in the Amazon is based on swidden cultivation (also known as
slash-and-burn Slash-and-burn agriculture is a farming method that involves the cutting and burning of plants in a forest or woodland to create a Field (agriculture), field called a swidden. The method begins by cutting down the trees and woody plants in an ...
or shifting cultivation) and is considered a relatively benign disturbance. In fact, when looking at the level of individual swidden plots a number of traditional farming practices are considered beneficial. For example, the use of shade trees and fallowing all help preserve
soil organic matter Soil organic matter (SOM) is the organic matter Organic matter, organic material, or natural organic matter refers to the large source of Carbon compounds, carbon-based compounds found within natural and engineered, terrestrial, and aquatic envi ...
, which is a critical factor in the maintenance of
soil fertility Soil fertility refers to the ability of soil File:Stagnogley.JPG, Surface-water-Gley soil, gley developed in glacial till, Northern Ireland. Soil is a mixture of organic matter, minerals, gases, liquids, and organisms that together support li ...
in the deeply weathered and leached soils common in the Amazon. There is a diversity of forest people in Asia, including the
Lumad The Lumad are a group of Austronesian Austronesian may refer to: *The Austronesian languages *The historical Austronesian peoples who carried Austronesian languages on their migrations {{disambiguation ... indigenous people Indigenous ...
peoples of the Philippines and the
Penan The Penan are a nomad A nomad ( frm, nomade "people without fixed habitation") is a member of a community without fixed habitation who regularly moves to and from the same areas. Such groups include hunter-gatherer A hunter-gatherer is a ...
and Dayak people of Borneo. The Dayaks are a particularly interesting group as they are noted for their traditional headhunting culture. Fresh human heads were required to perform certain rituals such as the Iban "kenyalang" and the Kenyah "mamat". Pygmies who live in Southeast Asia are, amongst others, referred to as "
Negrito The term Negrito () refers to several diverse ethnic groups who inhabit isolated parts of Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is the geographical U ...

Negrito
".


Resources


Cultivated foods and spices

Yam,
coffee Coffee is a drink prepared from roasted s, the seeds of from certain s in the ' genus. From the coffee fruit, the seeds are separated to produce a stable, raw product: unroasted ''green coffee''. The seeds are then , a process which transfo ...

coffee
,
chocolate Chocolate is a food product made from roasted and ground cacao pods, that is available as a liquid, solid or paste, on its own or as a flavoring agent Flavor, or flavour, is the perceptual Perception (from the Latin Latin ...

chocolate
,
banana A banana is an elongated, edible fruit In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specia ...

banana
,
mango A mango is an edible stone fruit ), showing both fruit In botany, a fruit is the seed-bearing structure in flowering plants (also known as angiosperms) formed from the ovary after flowering. Fruits are the means by which angiosper ...

mango
,
papaya The papaya (, ) (from Carib via Spanish), papaw, () or pawpaw () is the plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to Energy transformation, convert light energy ...

papaya
,
macadamia ''Macadamia'' is a genus Genus (plural genera) is a taxonomic rank Taxonomy (general) is the practice and science of classification of things or concepts, including the principles that underlie such classification. The term may also refer t ...

macadamia
,
avocado The avocado (''Persea americana''), a tree likely originating from southcentral Mexico, is Biological classification, classified as a member of the flowering plant family Lauraceae. The fruit of the plant, also called an avocado (or avocado pe ...

avocado
, and
sugarcane Sugarcane or sugar cane is a species of (often hybrid) tall, perennial A perennial plant or simply perennial is a plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic eukaryotes of the Kingdom (biology), kingdom Plantae. Historically, ...

sugarcane
all originally came from tropical rainforest and are still mostly grown on plantations in regions that were formerly primary forest. In the mid-1980s and 1990s, 40 million tons of bananas were consumed worldwide each year, along with 13 million tons of mango. Central American coffee exports were worth US$3 billion in 1970. Much of the
genetic variation thumb File:Genetic Variation and Inheritance.svg, Parents have similar gene coding in this specific situation where they reproduce and variation in the offspring is seen. Offspring containing the variation also reproduce and passes down traits t ...
used in evading the damage caused by new
pests Pest or The Pest may refer to: Science and medicine * Pest (organism), an animal or plant detrimental to humans or human concerns ** Weed, a plant considered undesirable * Infectious disease, an illness resulting from an infection ** Plague (diseas ...
is still derived from resistant wild stock. Tropical forests have supplied 250 cultivated kinds of
fruit In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in this field. The term "botany" comes from the ...

fruit
, compared to only 20 for
temperate forests A temperate forest is a forest found between the Tropical Rainforest, tropical and Taiga, boreal regions, located in the temperate climate, temperate zone. It is the second largest biome on the planet, covering 25% of the world's forest area, only ...
. Forests in
New Guinea New Guinea (; Hiri Motu Hiri Motu, also known as Police Motu, Pidgin Motu, or just Hiri, is a language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign ...

New Guinea
alone contain 251 tree species with edible fruits, of which only 43 had been established as cultivated crops by 1985.


Ecosystem services

In addition to extractive human uses, rain forests also have non-extractive uses that are frequently summarized as
ecosystem services Ecosystem services are the many and varied benefits to humans provided by the natural environment and from healthy ecosystems An ecosystem (or ecological system) consists of all the organisms and the physical environment with which the ...
. Rain forests play an important role in maintaining
biological diversity Biodiversity is the biological variety and variability of life on Earth. Biodiversity is a measure of variation at the genetic, species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic ...
, , global climate regulation,
disease A disease is a particular abnormal condition that negatively affects the structure A structure is an arrangement and organization of interrelated elements in a material object or system A system is a group of Interaction, interactin ...
control, and
pollination Pollination is the transfer of pollen Pollen is a powdery substance consisting of pollen grains which are Sporophyte, microsporophytes of spermatophyta, seed plants, which produce male gametes (sperm cells). Pollen grains have a hard coat ...

pollination
. Half of the rainfall in the Amazon area is produced by the forests. The moisture from the forests is important to the rainfall in
Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers (3.2 million square miles) and with over 211 mill ...

Brazil
,
Paraguay Paraguay (; ), officially the Republic of Paraguay ( es, República del Paraguay, links=no; gn, Tetã Paraguái, links=no), is a country in South America South America is a entirely in the and mostly in the , with a relatively sma ...

Paraguay
,
Argentina Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es, link=no, República Argentina), is a country located mostly in the southern half of South America South America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasse ...

Argentina
Deforestation deforestation in 1750-2004 (net loss) showing anthropogenic modification of remaining forest. File:MODIS (2020-08-01).jpg, 300px, Dry seasons, exacerbated by climate change, and the use of slash-and-burn methods for clearing tropical forest ...

Deforestation
in the
Amazon rainforest The Amazon rainforest, alternatively, the Amazon jungle or ; es, Selva amazónica, , or usually ; french: Forêt amazonienne; nl, Amazoneregenwoud. In English, the names are sometimes capitalized further, as Amazon Rainforest, Amazon Forest ...

Amazon rainforest
region was one of the main reason that cause the severe
Drought A drought is an event of prolonged shortages in the water supply, whether atmospheric (below-average precipitation In meteorology Meteorology is a branch of the (which include and ), with a major focus on . The study of meteorolog ...

Drought
of 2014-2015 in
Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers (3.2 million square miles) and with over 211 mill ...

Brazil
For the last three decades, the amount of carbon absorbed by the world’s intact tropical forests has fallen, according to a study published in 2020 in the journal Nature. In 2019 they took up a third less carbon than they did in the 1990s, due to higher temperatures, droughts and deforestation. The typical tropical forest may become a carbon source by the 2060s.


Tourism

Despite the negative effects of tourism in the tropical rainforests, there are also several important positive effects. * In recent years
ecotourism Ecotourism is a form of tourism at the archaeological site of Chichén Itza. in Vienna. Tourism is travel for pleasure or business; also the theory and practice of touring (disambiguation), touring, the business of attracting, accommodating ...
in the tropics has increased. While rainforests are becoming increasingly rare, people are travelling to nations that still have this diverse habitat. Locals are benefiting from the additional income brought in by visitors, as well areas deemed interesting for visitors are often conserved. ''Ecotourism can be an incentive for conservation, especially when it triggers positive economic change''. Ecotourism can include a variety of activities including animal viewing, scenic jungle tours and even viewing cultural sights and native villages. If these practices are performed appropriately this can be beneficial for both locals and the present flora and fauna. * An increase in tourism has increased economic support, allowing more revenue to go into the protection of the habitat. Tourism can contribute directly to the conservation of sensitive areas and habitat. Revenue from park-entrance fees and similar sources can be utilised specifically to pay for the protection and management of environmentally sensitive areas. Revenue from taxation and tourism provides an additional incentive for governments to contribute revenue to the protection of the forest. * Tourism also has the potential to increase public appreciation of the environment and to spread awareness of environmental problems when it brings people into closer contact with the environment. Such increased awareness can induce more environmentally conscious behavior. Tourism has had a positive effect on wildlife preservation and protection efforts, notably in Africa but also in South America, Asia, Australia, and the South Pacific.


Conservation


Threats


Deforestation


=Mining and drilling

= Deposits of precious metals (
gold Gold is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical elemen ...

gold
,
silver Silver is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical ele ...

silver
,
coltan Coltan (short for columbite–tantalites and known industrially as tantalite) is a dull black metallic ore from which the elements niobium Niobium, also known as columbium, is a chemical element upright=1.0, 500px, The chemical elements ...
) and fossil fuels (
oil An oil is any nonpolar In chemistry Chemistry is the science, scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that covers the Chemical element, elements that make up matter to the chemical compound ...

oil
and
natural gas Natural gas (also called fossil gas; sometimes just gas) is a naturally occurring hydrocarbon gas mixture consisting of methane and commonly including varying amounts of other higher alkanes, and sometimes a small percentage of carbon dioxid ...

natural gas
) occur underneath rainforests globally. These resources are important to developing nations and their extraction is often given priority to encourage economic growth.
Mining Mining is the extraction of valuable mineral In geology and mineralogy, a mineral or mineral species is, broadly speaking, a solid chemical compound with a fairly well-defined chemical composition and a specific crystal structure that occu ...

Mining
and
drilling Drilling is a cutting process that uses a drill bit to cut a hole of circular cross section (geometry), cross-section in solid materials. The drill bit is usually a rotary Cutting tool (machining), cutting tool, often multi-point. The bit is Pr ...
can require large amounts of
land development Land development is altering the landscape A landscape is the visible features of an area of , its s, and how they integrate with or man-made features.''New Oxford American Dictionary''. A landscape includes the physical elements of ly defi ...
, directly causing
deforestation deforestation in 1750-2004 (net loss) showing anthropogenic modification of remaining forest. File:MODIS (2020-08-01).jpg, 300px, Dry seasons, exacerbated by climate change, and the use of slash-and-burn methods for clearing tropical forest ...

deforestation
. In
Ghana Ghana (), officially the Republic of Ghana, is a country in West Africa West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of . The defines Western Africa as the 17 countries of , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and as well as .Paul R. ...

Ghana
, a West African nation, deforestation from decades of mining activity left about 12% of the country's original rainforest intact.


=Conversion to agricultural land

= With the
invention of agriculture The Neolithic Revolution, or the (First) Agricultural Revolution, was the wide-scale transition of many human cultures during the Neolithic The Neolithic period is the final division of the Stone Age, with a wide-ranging set of developments ...
, humans were able to clear sections of rainforest to produce crops, converting it to open farmland. Such people, however, obtain their food primarily from farm plots cleared from the forestWalker, Philip L.; Sugiyama, Larry and Chacon, Richard (1998
"Diet, Dental Health, and Cultural Change among Recently Contacted South American Indian Hunter-Horticulturalists"
Ch. 17 in ''Human Dental Development, Morphology, and Pathology''. University of Oregon Anthropological Papers, No. 54
and hunt and forage within the forest to supplement this. The issue arising is between the independent farmer providing for his family and the needs and wants of the globe as a whole. This issue has seen little improvement because no plan has been established for all parties to be aided. Agriculture on formerly forested land is not without difficulties. Rainforest soils are often thin and leached of many minerals, and the heavy rainfall can quickly leach nutrients from area cleared for cultivation. People such as the
Yanomamo The Yanomami, also spelled Yąnomamö or Yanomama, are a group of approximately 35,000 indigenous people Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous people, are culturally distinct ...
of the
Amazon Amazon usually refers to: * Amazons In Greek mythology, the Amazons (Ancient Greek: Ἀμαζόνες ''Amazónes'', singular Ἀμαζών ''Amazōn'') are portrayed in a number of ancient Greek, ancient epic poems and legends, such as the ...

Amazon
, utilize
slash-and-burn Slash-and-burn agriculture is a farming method that involves the cutting and burning of plants in a forest or woodland to create a Field (agriculture), field called a swidden. The method begins by cutting down the trees and woody plants in an ...
agriculture to overcome these limitations and enable them to push deep into what were previously rainforest environments. However, these are not rainforest dwellers, rather they are dwellers in cleared farmland that make forays into the rainforest. Up to 90% of the typical Yanamomo diet comes from farmed plants. Some action has been taken by suggesting fallow periods of the land allowing secondary forest to grow and replenish the soil. Beneficial practices like soil restoration and conservation can benefit the small farmer and allow better production on smaller parcels of land.


Climate change

The tropics take a major role in reducing atmospheric
carbon dioxide Carbon dioxide (chemical formula A chemical formula is a way of presenting information about the chemical proportions of s that constitute a particular or molecule, using symbols, numbers, and sometimes also other symbols, such as pare ...

carbon dioxide
. The tropics (most notably the
Amazon rainforest The Amazon rainforest, alternatively, the Amazon jungle or ; es, Selva amazónica, , or usually ; french: Forêt amazonienne; nl, Amazoneregenwoud. In English, the names are sometimes capitalized further, as Amazon Rainforest, Amazon Forest ...

Amazon rainforest
) are called
carbon sink A carbon sink is any reservoir, natural or otherwise, that accumulates and stores some carbon Carbon (from la, carbo "coal") is a with the C and 6. It is lic and —making four s available to form s. It belongs to group 14 of the p ...
s. As major carbon reducers and carbon and soil methane storages, their destruction contributes to increasing global energy trapping, atmospheric gases. Climate change has been significantly contributed to by the destruction of the rainforests. A simulation was performed in which all rainforest in Africa were removed. The simulation showed an increase in atmospheric temperature by 2.5 to 5 degrees Celsius.


Protection

Efforts to protect and conserve tropical rainforest habitats are diverse and widespread. Tropical rainforest conservation ranges from strict preservation of habitat to finding sustainable management techniques for people living in tropical rainforests. International policy has also introduced a market incentive program called
Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries (REDD+) was first negotiated under the United Nations F ...
(REDD) for companies and governments to outset their carbon emissions through financial investments into rainforest conservation.


See also

*
International Tropical Timber Organization The International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) is an intergovernmental organization An intergovernmental organization (IGO) or international organization is an organization composed primarily of sovereign states (referred to as ''member sta ...
* List of tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests ecoregions *
Palaeogeography area during the Middle Devonian period. Image:Pangea animation 03.gif, upright=1.4, Animation of the break-up of the supercontinent Pangaea and the subsequent drift of its constituents, from the Early Triassic to recent (250 Ma to 0). Palaeoge ...
*
Rainforest Rainforests are characterized by a closed and continuous tree canopy Canopy may refer to: Plants * Canopy (biology), aboveground portion of plant community or crop (including forests) * Canopy (grape), aboveground portion of grapevine Religi ...

Rainforest
*
Temperate rainforest Temperate rainforests are conifer Conifers are a group of conifer cone, cone-bearing Spermatophyte, seed plants, a subset of gymnosperms. Scientifically, they make up the phylum, division Pinophyta (), also known as Coniferophyta () or Conifera ...
*
Tropical Africa Although tropical Africa is mostly familiar to the West for its rainforests, this biogeographic realm of Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent, after Asia in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 ...
*
Tropical Asia Tropical Asia is a region in Asia Asia () is 's largest and most populous , located primarily in the and . It shares the continental of with the continent of and the continental landmass of with both Europe and . Asia covers an are ...
*
Tropical forest The tropics are the region of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. The remaining 70.8% i ...

Tropical forest
*
Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests (TSMF), also known as tropical moist forest, is a tropical The tropics are the region of Earth surrounding the Equator. They are delimited in latitude by the Tropic of Cancer in the North ...
*
Tropical rainforest climate A tropical rainforest climate or equatorial climate is a tropical climate Tropical climate is one of the five major climate groups in the . Tropical climates are characterized by monthly average temperatures of 18 °C (64.4 °F) or hi ...
*
Tropical vegetation Tropical vegetation is any vegetation Vegetation is an assemblage of plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to Energy transformation, convert light energy int ...

Tropical vegetation


References


External links


Rainforest Action Network



Tropical Forests
Project Regeneration, 2021. {{DEFAULTSORT:Tropical Rainforest
Rainforest Rainforests are characterized by a closed and continuous tree canopy Canopy may refer to: Plants * Canopy (biology), aboveground portion of plant community or crop (including forests) * Canopy (grape), aboveground portion of grapevine Religi ...
Ecosystems