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The tropical forest is very beautiful and is a really wonderful place to visit. Filled with beautiful animals and you can find wonderful things like interesting rocks and beautiful waterfalls. It is very nice and is known for the worlds largest pharmacy because over one quarter of natural medicine have been discovered within them. There are amazing rivers and beautiful trees have existed on Earth for millions and millions of years

A tropical rainforest is an ecosystem type that occurs roughly within the latitudes 28 degrees north or south of the equator (in the equatorial zone between the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn). This ecosystem experiences high average temperatures and a significant amount of rainfall. Rainforests can be found in Asia, Australia, Africa, South America, Central America,Mexico and on many of the Pacific, Caribbean, and Indian Ocean islands. Within the World Wildlife Fund's biome classification, tropical rainforests are thought to be a type of tropical wet forest(or tropical moist broadleaf forest) and may also be referred to as lowland equatorial evergreen rainforest.[3]

Tropical rainforests can be characterized in two words: warm and wet. Mean monthly temperatures exceed 18 °C (64 °F) during all months of the year.[4] Average annual rainfall is no less than 168 cm (66 in) and can exceed 1,000 cm (390 in) although it typically lies between 175 cm (69 in) and 200 cm (79 in).[5] This high level of precipitation often results in poor soils due to leaching of soluble nutrients.

Tropical rainforests exhibit high levels of biodiversity. Around 40% to 75% of all biotic species are indigenous to the rainforests.[6] Rainforests are home to half of all the living animal and plant species on the planet.[7] Two-thirds of all flowering plants can be found in rainforests.[5] 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.[5] Tropical rainforests have been called the "world's largest pharmacy", because over one quarter of natural medicines have been discovered within them.[8] It is likely that there may be many millions of species of plants, insects and microorganisms still undiscovered in tropical rainforests.

Tropical rainforests are among the most threatened ecosystems globally due to large-scale fragmentation due to human activity. Habitat fragmentation caused by geological processes such as volcanism and climate change occurred in the past, and have been identified as important drivers of speciation.[9] 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 and agricultural clearance throughout the 20th century, and the area covered by rainforests around the world is rapidly shrinking.[10][11]

Tropical rainforests have existed on Earth for hundreds of millions of years. Most tropical rainforests today are on fragments of the Mesozoic era supercontinent of Gondwana.[12] 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.[9] 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.[12] However, the specifics of the origin of rainforests remain uncertain due to an incomplete fossil record.

Several types of forest comprise the general tropical rainforest biome:
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Daintree rainforest in Queensland

  • Lowland equatorial evergreen rain forests are forests which receive high rainfall (more than 2000 mm, or 80 inches, annually) throughout the year. These forests occur in a belt around the equator, with the largest areas in the Amazon Basin of South America, the Congo Basin of Central Africa, Indonesia, and New Guinea.
  • Moist deciduous and semi-evergreen seasonal forests, 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. These forests are found in parts of South America, in Central America and around the Caribbean, in coastal West Africa, parts of the Indian subcontinent, and across much of Indochina.
  • Montane rain forests, some of which are known as cloud forests, are found in cooler-climate mountain areas. 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.[13]
  • Flooded forests, seven types of flooded forest are recognized for Tambopata Reserve in Amazonian Peru:[14]
    • Permanently waterlogged swamp forest—Former oxbow lakes still flooded but covered in forest.
    • Seasonally waterlogged swamp forest—Oxbow lakes in the process of filling in.
    • Lower floodplain forest—Lowest floodplain locations with a recognizable forest.
    • Middle floodplain forest—Tall forest, flooded occasionally.
    • Upper floodplain forest—Tall forest, rarely flooded.
    • Old floodplain forest—Subjected to flooding within the last two hundred years.
    • Previous floodplain—Now terra firme, but historically ancient floodplain of Tambopata River.
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Rainforests are divided into different strata, or layers, with vegetation organized into a vertical pattern from the top of the soil to the canopy[15] 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 bottom-most layer, receives only 2% of the sunlight. Only plants 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 (Okapia johnstoni), tapir (Tapirus sp.), Sumatran rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis), and apes like the 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 growing here help decay the animal and plant waste.

Understory layer

Main article: Understory

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 (Panthera pardus), poison dart frogs (Dendrobates sp.), ring-tailed coati (Nasua nasua), boa constrictor (Boa constrictor), and many species of Coleoptera.[5] 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.

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Most 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[20[[|]]] 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 wet and dry seasons. Rainforests 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 800 cm and annual temperature greater than 24 degrees Celsius. However, most lowland tropical rainforests can be classified as tropical moist or wet forests, which differ in regards to rainfall. Tropical rainforest ecology- dynamics, composition, and function- are sensitive to changes in climate especially changes in rainfall.[20[[|]]] The climate of these forests is controlled by a band of clouds called the Intertropical Convergence Zone located near the equator and created by the convergence of the trade winds from the northern and southern hemispheres. The position of the band varies seasonally, moving north in the northern summer and south in the northern winter, and ultimately controlling the wet and dry seasons in the tropics.[21[[|]]] These regions have experienced strong warming at a mean rate of 0.26 degrees Celsius per decade which coincides with a global rise in temperature resulting from the anthropogenic inputs of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Studies have also found that precipitation has declined and tropical Asia has experienced an increase in dry season intensity whereas Amazonia has no significant pattern change in precipitation or dry season.[20[[|]]] Additionally, El Niño-Southern Oscillation events drive the interannual climatic variability in temperature and precipitation and result in drought and increased intensity of the dry season. As anthropogenic warming increases the intensity and frequency of ENSO will increase, rendering tropical rainforest regions susceptible to stress and increased mortality of trees.[20]]