Forest Biomes

This is a follow up article. You should have read the previous article that gave introduction to ecosystem and biomes

Terrestrial  biomes:

Tropical rainforest: It is also known as lowland equilatorial forest. This biomes recieves very high precipitation and average temperature in the biome is high. This biomes recieves rainfall not less than 168 cm per year and some forest in this biome could receive rainfall of more than 1000 cm per annum. Soil in the tropical rain forest is very poor in nutrient. Why? Due to heavy rain throughout the year, almost all the nutrients present in the soil are diluted since most nutrients are soluble in water. Average temperature in this biome exceeds 18 °C throughout the year. This biomes has very high variety of species. Hence they provide more oxygen than other biomes and this biomes has many medicinal plants and hence they are called “World’s largest Pharmacy”.Tropical rainforest are divided into four distinct layers and they are forest floor, Understory floor, Canopy layer and Emergent layer. Forest floor is the bottom most layer of the tropical rain forest. It receives just 2% of the sunlight. As tropical rain forest are covered by three floors they receive less sunlight in the ground. Hence only few plants do survive in the floor due to poor soil nutrient and poor sunlight.  Understroy layer is above forest floor. This layer receives 5% sunlight. Canopy layer is above Understroy layer and it is dominant layer of the forest since most of the tree are found in this layer. and Emergent layer is an extension of the canopy.Very few trees that can grow more than 45m in height are in emergent layer. Tropical rain forest can also exist in high altitude and if so they are called Montane rain forest or cloud forest.  As they are higher altitude,temperature present in cloud forest is relatively low.


Canopy layer of Tropical rain forest. Image Credits: Mikenorton and licensed by creative commons by SA 3.

Buttress roots are important feature of Tropical rain forest. This are group of roots are  spread over large area in order to efficiently absorb the nutrient. Why buttress root is essential? As the soil in the forest is poor in nutrients, Buttress roots are essential to meet the nutrient need of the plant. Another use of them are it prevents possible soil erosion that can happen due to heavy rain.

Temperature rain forest: They receive high rainfall and it is in temperature zone. They receive more than 140 cm rainfall per year . Its average temperature ranges from 4 to 12°C. Conifers and broad leaf plants exists in this biome (Source: Wiki)

Deciduous forests: Deciduous means ” falling off at maturity”. This forest losses its leaves during particular period of the time and that period is called Autumn. There are further classified into temperature Deciduous forests ,tropical Deciduous forests and sub tropical deciduous forests based on their climate. Major climates around the world will be discussed in one of the upcoming article in this series. Other biomes will be discussed in next article.


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