World Climates & Vegetation
Terrestrial Ecosystems (from Soils & Veg)
- The tropical rainforest is earth's most complex biome in terms of both structure and species diversity.
- Tropical forests, covering 7% of the earth's surface area, contain perhaps 50% of the world's species.
- It occurs under optimal growing conditions: abundant precipitation and year round warmth.
- There is no annual rhythm to the forest; rather each species has evolved its own flowering and fruiting seasons.
- Sunlight is a major limiting factor. A variety of strategies have been successful in the struggle to reach light or to adapt to the low intensity of light beneath the canopy.
- Very poor soil forming processes. Not much organic matter.
- Accumulation of CaCO3 at the surface.
- Alluvial Fan soil formation (1)