Forest Biomes represent the largest and most ecologically complex systems.  They contain a wide assortment of trees, plants, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates, insects and micro-organisms which vary depending on the zone's climates.  Sadly, boreal and rainforest biomes are being cut down at an alarming rate, with hundreds of species of plants and animals disappearing from the planet on a daily basis.

Map of World Biomes
Images of Forest Biomes


Tropical, or rainforest

The rainforest is the most ecologically rich of the world's biomes.  Rainforest occupy only 75 of earth's land areas and are generally found at the equatorial level of the planet.  Daylight in the rainforest lasts for 12 hours, there is no winter, and the seasons can best be described as rainy, or dry, with little change in temperature.  The rainforest is host to the largest variety of life forms in all of nature, with thousands of different species of trees, plants, flowers, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, insects, invertebrates and micro-organisms.  Many of the animals in the rainforest are highly adapted to their highly competitive and diverse environment, having developed camouflage or strong defenses, which are always heralded by colorful markings.

While the rainforest isn't ideally suited for human habitation, it has been the home of tribes such as the Yanomamo in South-America, and Pamagirri in Australia.  Perhaps, they too have survived by adapting to their environment, but it is the so-called civilized world which poses the biggest threat  to the rainforest, aggressive logging, and clearcutting to make way for plantations have endangered the rain forest's animal and plant life, and brought on irreparable damage to the earth's atmosphere.   Close to 80,000 acres of rainforest are destroyed each year, and over 50,000  species of life forms become extinct.

Find out what you can do to help preserve this important biome.

The other forests which fall into the rainforest category are the seasonal rainforest, with it's very humid tropical area subject to a short dry season, the evergreen rainforest, which does not have a dry season, the monsoon rainforest, where the dry season is prolonged in proportion to the lower amount of rain, and finally, the semi-evergreen rainforest, which is similar to the seasonal rainforest, but has a longer dry season.  
Further subdivisions of this group are determined by seasonal distribution of rainfall.

The Rainforest Alliance
The Living Edens
Australian Rainforest Ecosystems
Alaska Rainforest
Neotropical Rainforest Mammals : A Field Guide by Louise H. Emmons, Francois Feer (Illustrator); Paperback

Rainforest (Biomes of the World)
by Edward R. Ricciuti (Library Binding - September 1996)

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Last modified: October 30, 2009

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