Are all Tropical Forests, Rain Forests?
Only a small percentage of the tropical forests are rain forests. To be a tropical rain forest, forested areas must: • Lie between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. • Receive rainfall regularly throughout the year (80- 400 inches a year). • Remain warm and frost free all year long (mean temperatures are between 70° and 85°F) with very little daily fluctuation. Consequently, many forested areas in the tropics are not rain forests. Forests that receive irregular rainfall (monsoons followed by a dry season) are moist deciduous forests. Trees in these forests may drop their leaves in the dry season. Montane forests are found in mountainous areas and may contain plants such as oaks, rhododendrons and pines, which are characteristic of temperate forests. At higher altitudes temperatures are cooler, and even close to the equator, frost and snow can occur. Tropical rain forests comprise only 40% of the world’s tropical forests and only 20% of the world’s total forests. They cov