Introduction to the tropics


The extent of tropical rainforests sixty years ago is estimated at 16 million square kilometres. Today survives not even half of the area. Anyhow are 90% of all known animal and plant species to be found on circa 6% of the land surface of earth. Tropical rainforests are thus an absolute hotspot of evolution.

Tropical rainforests are only to be found along the equator between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. In this region obtains all-year constant conditions. Classical sesasons don’t exist, the year is divided into a dry season and a rainy season. Anyhow obtains at least ten months a humid climate, i.e. rainfalls overlie evaporation. The annual rainfall amounts to over 2.000 mm/square metre and is thus more than the double of the German rainfall. Also temperatures underlie only slight variations all the year.

Under these constant climate conditions evolved a complex and species-rich ecosystem, which was demaged more than any other ecosystem and is endangered in its maintenance.

On the following sites you can learn more about tropical ecology and the endangerment of tropical rainforests.

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