Rainforests are Earth’s oldest living ecosystems, with some surviving in their present form for at least 70 million years. They are incredibly diverse and complex, home to more than half of the world’s plant and animal species—even though they cover just 6% of Earth’s surface. This makes rainforests astoundingly dense with flora and fauna; a 10-square-kilometer (4-square-mile) patch can contain as many as 1,500 flowering plants, 750 species of trees, 400 species of birds and 150 species of butterflies.
June 22 is World Rainforest Day, which is a “collaborative effort to raise awareness and encourage action to protect the world’s rainforests”, according to Rainforest Partnership, which founded the event. In recognition of World Rainforest Day, this post highlights the world’s ten largest tropical rainforests: the Amazon, the Congo, New Guinea and Australia, Sundaland, Indo-Burma, Mesoamerica, Wallacea, the Guinean Forests of West Africa, the Atlantic forest, and the Choco
Biome is another name for a distinct type of ecosystem. Biomes are characterized by their climate, which determines the particular plants found there. The climate and the plants in a biome determine what animals live there. This article addresses the climate and biodiversity of one of Earth’s most diverse and iconic biomes: the tropical rainforest.
The Amazon supports multiple ecosystem services and is a huge repository for Amazon countries and humankind. The World Bank-led, GEF-funded Amazon Sustainable Landscapes (ASL) Program will improve management of 82 million hectares of forest across Brazil, Colombia and Peru.
Amazon expert and leading ecologist Thomas Lovejoy discusses threats to the Amazon and how best to manage them.
Tropical rainforests are the cradle of life (perfect conditions for life) on Earth, i.e., rich in plant species composition (>250 plant species/hectare) and fauna diversity (>50% of animal species in the world). Rainforests occur near the Earth’s equator and cover 6% of the Earth’s surface across the tropical regions and are characterized by wet climate, i.e., heavy rainfall (125—660 cm), relative humidity (77—88%) and temperature (20—34°C). They are dominated by a wide range of broad-leaved trees that form dense canopy and the most complex ecosystem.