Forests

Tropical Rain

Authored by: Richard T. Corlett

Terrestrial Ecosystems and Biodiversity

Print publication date:  June  2020
Online publication date:  May  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138333918
eBook ISBN: 9780429445651
Adobe ISBN:

10.1201/9780429445651-29

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Abstract

Tropical rain forests are the tall, dense, evergreen forests that grow in parts of the tropics that are continuously hot and wet. The five major regions with tropical rain forests (South and Central America, Africa, Asia, Madagascar, and New Guinea) have been isolated from each other for a long time and support distinctly different plant and animal communities. Tropical rain forests support more plant and animal species and contain more carbon than any other ecosystem. They are also a major source of timber and other economic products, and provide clean water and other services for local people. They are currently threatened by clearance for agriculture as well as illegal logging and hunting. Well-managed protected areas are the best way of ensuring that intact tropical rain forests survive, but sustainable logging can also preserve most forest values. Financial rewards for countries that reduce their greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation could help fund the protection and restoration of tropical rain forests.

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