What is a tropical rainforest? Definition:
To the Tropical rainforests include rainy and evergreen forests along the equator. The word "tropics" comes from the Greek language and means "solstice areas" that designate the zone between the northern and southern tropics. The following graphic shows the areas with tropical climate are green. However, that does not mean that these areas are actually overgrown with rainforest.
The largest rainforest areas come in Brazil, of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Indonesia in front. In addition, Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Nigeria, Cameroon, Madagascar, Uganda, Ghana, Indonesia, New Guinea, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam have significant rainforest areas.
Floors in tropical rainforest (stratification)
The vegetation in rainforests can be determined by the so-called Storey building be described (technical term: stratification). Depending on the textbook or textbook, the number of layers described varies. Accordingly, the following classification does not claim to be a scientific consensus, but is only intended to represent one possible classification:
1. forest floor: includes the thin layer of humus and roots
2. Krautschicht: herbaceous plants on the forest floor
3. shrub layer: non-woody plants (shrubs)
4. undergrowth: young, regrowing trees
5. canopyCovered canopy at a height of 35 - 45m
6. forest giants: individually outstanding trees with heights up to 70m
Typical daily routine in the tropical rainforest
The daily routine in the tropical rain forest is almost identical throughout the year. Responsible for this is the proximity to the equator or the year-round approximately constant angle of incidence of the sun's rays. The sun is almost vertical throughout the year around the equator. As a result, there are practically no seasons. The temperature differences between day and night are greater than those between the months. One speaks in this context of one Daytime air.
Compared to other terrestrial areas, sunlight falls perpendicular to the earth's surface, causing the sun to strike the equatorial areas with much greater intensity. Following a typical daily routine in the tropical rainforest:
|time of day||conditions|
|06:00||Sunrise; Temperature at about 20 ° C|
|12:00||Strong sunlight causes the evaporation of the water; Temperature around 30 ° C; The humidity increases strongly; cloud formation|
|15:00||Heavy rainfall with thunderstorms; sultry heat|
|18:00||Sunset; about 25 ° C at high humidity; no more rainfall; misting|
|24:00||Temperatures still above 20 ° C (tropical night)|
Endangering the tropical rainforest
In the last fifty years, the total area of all rainforests has shrunk by more than 40% due to human impacts. If this speed continues even more, in less than 100 years, almost all tropical rainforests could have disappeared from Earth. Without the rainforest, humans would not only lack an important source of oxygen or carbon dioxide storage (the rainforest as a "green lung"), but also the enormous biodiversity in the forests of the Amazon, Congo Basin and Southeast Asia would be wiped out in just a few decades.
The causes to destroy the rainforests are manifold:
Slash and burn for agriculture and livestock
Dismantling of fine tropical woods
Required wood for paper production
Extraction of mineral resources (such as gold, diamonds)
Other interventions (including dams and town planning)