Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf 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.

800px-tropical wet forests
General distribution of tropical moist forests

Description

Fluss Dja Somalomo
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]

Types

Lifezones Pengo, TSMF
Tropical and subtropical moist forests (TSMF) as shown within the Holdridge Life Zones classification scheme, and includes moist forests, wet forests, and rainforests.

The biome includes several types of forests:

Notable ecoregions

A number of TSMF ecoregions are notable for their biodiversity and endemism:[1]

See also

References

  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 links

Central American montane forests

The Central American montane forests are an ecoregion of the tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests biome, as defined by the World Wildlife Fund, located in mountains of Central America.

East African montane forests

The East African montane forests is a montane tropical moist forest ecoregion of eastern Africa. The ecoregion comprises several separate areas above 2000 meters in the mountains of South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania.

Evergreen forest

An evergreen forest is a forest made up of evergreen trees. They occur across a wide range of climatic zones, and include trees such as conifers, live oak, and holly in cold climates, eucalypts, acacias and banksias in more temperate zones, and rainforest trees in tropical zones.

Freshwater swamp forest

Freshwater swamp forests, or flooded forests, are forests which are inundated with freshwater, either permanently or seasonally. They normally occur along the lower reaches of rivers and around freshwater lakes. Freshwater swamp forests are found in a range of climate zones, from boreal through temperate and subtropical to tropical.

In the Amazon Basin of Brazil, a seasonally flooded forest is known as a várzea, a use that now is becoming more widespread for this type of forest in the Amazon (though generally spelled varzea when used in English). Igapó, another word used in Brazil for flooded Amazonian forests, is also sometimes used in English. Specifically, varzea refers to whitewater-inundated forest, and igapó to blackwater-inundated forest.

Peat swamp forests are swamp forests where waterlogged soils prevent woody debris from fully decomposing, which over time creates a thick layer of acidic peat.

Guinean Forests of West Africa

The Guinean forests of West Africa is a biodiversity hotspot designated by Conservation International, which includes the belt of tropical moist broadleaf forests along the coast of West Africa, running from Sierra Leone and Guinea in the west to the Sanaga River of Cameroon in the east. The Dahomey Gap, a region of savanna and dry forest in Togo and Benin, divides the Guinean forests into the Upper Guinean forests and Lower Guinean forests.

The Upper Guinean forests extend from Sierra Leone and Guinea in the west through Liberia, Côte d'Ivoire, and Ghana to Togo in the east. The Lower Guinean forests extend east from Benin through Nigeria and Cameroon. The Lower Guinean forests also extend south past the Sanaga River, the southern boundary of the hotspot, into southern Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Republic of the Congo, Cabinda, and Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Huon Peninsula

Huon Peninsula is a large rugged peninsula on the island of New Guinea in Morobe Province, eastern Papua New Guinea. It is named after French explorer Jean-Michel Huon de Kermadec. The peninsula is dominated by the steep Saruwaged and Finisterre and Cromwell Mountains. The nearest large town is the Morobe provincial capital Lae to the south, while settlements on the north coast include the former German town of Finschhafen, the district capital of Wasu, Malalamai and Saidor with its World War II era Saidor Airport.

The area was the site of the Huon Peninsula campaign of World War II, in 1943-44 as Japanese troops retreating from Lae fought their way over the Finisterre Mountains to Madang on the north coast.

Ituri Rainforest

The Ituri Rainforest is a rainforest located in the Ituri Province of northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo formerly called Zaire. The forest's name derives from the nearby Ituri River which flows through the rainforest, connecting firstly to the Aruwimi River and finally into the Congo.

List of ecoregions in India

The Himalaya, which runs across India's northern tier, is the boundary between two of the Earth's great ecozones — the Palearctic, which covers most of temperate-to-arctic Eurasia, and Indomalaya, which covers most of the Indian subcontinent and extends into Indochina, Sundaland (Malaysia and western Indonesia) and the Philippines.

List of ecoregions in Laos

The following is a list of ecoregions in Laos.

List of ecoregions in Thailand

The following is a list of ecoregions in Thailand.

List of terrestrial ecoregions (WWF)

This is a list of terrestrial ecoregions as compiled by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). The WWF identifies terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecoregions.

The terrestrial scheme divides the Earth's land surface into 8 terrestrial ecozones, containing 867 smaller ecoregions. Each ecoregion is classified into one of 14 major habitat types, or biomes.

Additional ecoregions for Antarctic Realm are currently being incorporated (based on Terauds et al. 2012).

Antarctic Realm - Tundra Biome:

1 North-east Antarctic Peninsula;

2 South Orkney Islands;

3 North-west Antarctic Peninsula;

4 Central south Antarctic Peninsula;

5 Enderby Land;

6 Dronning Maud Land;

7 East Antarctica;

8 North Victoria Land;

9 South Victoria Land;

10 Transantarctic Mountains;

11 Ellsworth Mountains;

12 Marie Byrd Land;

13 Adelie Land;

14 Ellsworth Land;

15 South Antarctic Peninsula.

Terauds, A, SL Chown, F Morgan, HJ Peat, DJ Watts, H Keys, P Convey, DM Bergstrom. 2012. Conservation biogeography of the Antarctic. Diversity and Distributions 1–16. DOI: 10.1111/j.1472-4642.2012.00925.x

List of tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests ecoregions

This is a list of tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forest ecoregions (TSMFs), arranged by ecozone

Meghalaya subtropical forests

The Meghalaya subtropical forests is a montane subtropical moist broadleaf forest ecoregion of eastern India. The ecoregion covers an area of 41,700 square kilometers (16,100 sq mi), encompassing the Khasi Hills, Garo Hills, and Jaintia Hills of India's Meghalaya state, and adjacent portions of Assam state. The ecoregion is one of the most species-rich in India with a rich diversity of birds, mammals, and plants.

Mount Cameroon and Bioko montane forests

The Mount Cameroon and Bioko montane forests ecoregion, of the tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests Biome, are in Afromontane habitats in Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea of Africa.

North Western Ghats moist deciduous forests

The North Western Ghats moist deciduous forests is a tropical moist broadleaf forest ecoregion of southwestern India.

Peninsular Malaysian peat swamp forests

The Peninsular Malaysian peat swamp forests ecoregion, in the tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests biome, are of the Malay Peninsula, which includes portions of Malaysia and southern Thailand.

Restinga

Restinga (Portuguese pronunciation: [ʁesˈtʃĩɡɐ]) — a spit and a distinct type of coastal Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forest, found in eastern Brazil.Restingas form on sandy, acidic, and nutrient-poor soils, and are characterized by medium-sized trees and shrubs adapted to the drier and nutrient-poor conditions.One of the most notable restingas is the Restinga da Marambaia (in Rio de Janeiro), which is owned and kept by the Brazilian Army.

Solomon Islands rain forests

The Solomon Islands rain forests are a terrestrial ecoregion covering most of the Solomon Islands archipelago.

Tropical timber

Tropical timber may refer to any type of timber or wood that grows in tropical rainforests and tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests and is harvested there. Typical examples of worldwide industrial significance include the hardwoods

Mahogany

Teak

Ebony

Rosewood

Narra

Chloroxylonamong many others.

Overexploitation of those woods has led to widespread deforestation in the tropics. The intergovernmental organization International Tropical Timber Organization is concerned with conservation of the habitats of tropical timber trees.

Biomes
Biogeographic
realms
See also

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