6.2.1. Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests

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Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forest  include a type of tropical or subtropical biomes that occupy a belt around the Equator and the humid tropics, characterized by high trees and dense vegetation formation, warm and humid with temperature variations of less 5° C and rainfall throughout the year. 

The biome includes several types of forests:

  • Lowland equatorial evergreen rain forests, commonly known as tropical rainforests, 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.
  • troppMoist 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 theCaribbean, in coastal West Africa, parts of the Indian subcontinent, and across much of Indochina.
  • Montane rain forests, are found in cooler-climate mountainous areas. Those with elevations high enough to regularly encounter low-level cloud cover are known ascloud forests.
  • Flooded forests, including freshwater swamp forests and peat swamp forests.

Tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests are common in several terrestrial ecozones, including parts of the Afrotropic (equatorial Africa), Indomalaya (parts of theIndian subcontinent and Southeast Asia), the Neotropic (northern South America and Central America), Australasia (eastern Indonesia, New Guinea, northern and eastern Australia), and Oceania (the tropical islands of the Pacific Ocean). About half of the world’s tropical rainforests are in the South American countries of Brazil andPeru. Rainforests now cover less than 6% of Earth’s land surface. Scientists estimate that more than half of all the world’s plant and animal species live in tropical rain forests.

In contrast to TSMF, tropical forest regions with lower levels of rainfall are home to tropical dry broadleaf forests and tropical coniferous forests. Temperate rain forests also occur in certain humid temperate coastal regions.

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