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What is a rainforest?

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Kim Snowling Profile
Kim Snowling answered

A Rainforest can be defined as forests characterised by high amounts of rainfall, this is based on a normal minimum annual rainfall of 1750-2000 mm.  There are two types of rainforest, Tropical rainforest and Temperate rainforest.

Tropical

  • These are warm and wet. 
  • Average rainfall typically lies between 1750 - 2000 mm.
  • Mean monthly temp exceeds 18 degrees
  • They are found in the equatorial zone (between the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn)
  • One quarter of natural medicines have been found there.
Temperate

  • They are found all over the world, however, only in specific areas. Temperate regions -
  1. North America
  2. British Isles
  3. Southern Norway
  4. Western Balkans
  5. North West Spain
  6. Coastal Areas of eastern Black Sea.
  7. East Asia
  8. Southern Chile
  9. Australia
  10. New Zealand

Other Facts -

  • Rainforest's are also responsible for 28% of the world's oxygen turnover. 
  • Jungles form when the rainforest's leaf canopy gets destroyed or thinned.  The ground soon gets colonised by a dense, tangled growth of vines, shrubs and small trees.
  • 90% of West Africa's rainforest has been destroyed and since the arrival of humans 2000 years ago, Madagascar has lost two thirds of it's original rainforest.  Causing many species to be driven to extinction.

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