The tropical rainforest can be found in three major geographical areas around the world: Central America in the Amazon River basin, Africa- Zaire basin, with a small area in West Africa; also eastern Madagascar, and Indo-Malaysia-west coast of India, Assam, Southeast Asia, New Guinea and Queensland, Australia. Scientists estimate that more than half of all the world’s plant and animal species live in tropical rain forests. Tropical rainforests produce 40% of Earth’s oxygen. Tropical rainforests cover about 6% of the Earth’s total land surface. They are mainly located around the belt at the equator.
Rain forests belong to the tropical wet climate group. Its climate is very warm. It has an average annual temperature of greater than 20 degrees Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit). The temperature rarely gets higher than 93 degrees Fahrenheit. They also have very little seasonal variation in temperature or day length, which is very favorable for plant growth. The tropical rainforest’s temperature ranges from 20-25 degrees Celsius, and they have more than 250 cm of annual rainfall. The average humidity is between 77 and 88%. In monsoonal areas, there is a real dry season. The main climate controls of the tropical rainforest are latitude.
Evergreens are replaced by deciduous forests as precipitation becomes seasonal. Whenever dry periods are several months or longer in duration, leaves are shed as the dry season takes hold, providing a winter-like visual appearance. Leaves re- appear in anticipation of or with the onset of the rains. The growing season is thus shortened, and so forest productivity is less than in the evergreen forests of the more humid tropics. At lower annual rainfall, forest gives way to savanna.
Young leaves if several jungle trees are red, and in the canopy or from the air such trees often appear to be in flower. Vegetation often interacts with animals, birds, and insects. The ceiba tree is covered in vivid red flowers that attract numerous insects and humming birds, which drink the nectar, collect the pollen, and fertilize the tree. The orchids come in many different colors, some are big and yellow and others are small and pink. Orchids are mainly found in Asia and some parts in South America. Some leaves have pointed ends so that the rain can drip off. If this didn’t happen the leaves might mold. The tropical vegetation grew so dense that it was difficult to cut ones way through it. The soil of a rainforest must be very fertile, filled with nutrients enabling it to support the immense trees and other vegetation they found. Today, we know that the soil of the tropical rainforest is shallow, very poor in nutrients and almost without soluble minerals. Thousands of years of heavy rains have washed away the nutrients in the soil obtained from weathered rocks. The rainforest has a very short nutrient cycle. Nutrients generally stay in an ecosystem by being recycled, and in a rainforest are mainly found in the living plants and the layers of decomposing leaf. Various species of decomposers like insects, bacteria, and fungi made quick work of turning dead plant and animal matter into nutrients. A study in the Amazon rainforest found that 99% of nutrients are held in root mats.
The animals of the tropical rainforest are a wide variety that adapt to their surroundings in many ways. One of the most common and effective camouflage is looking like a...