Ecology Wet Forests - Tropical Wet Forest Latitude Tropical...

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Tropical Wet Forest
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Latitude: Tropical Wet Forests
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Tropical Wet Forest Rainfall occurs throughout the year or with one dry month. Maximum rain is associated with the passage of the thermal equator (sun directly overhead). There are 2000‑4000 mm of rain/year. Average temperature 25 o C. Relative humidity 80%.
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Tropical Wet Forest Life forms There is a great diversity of life forms, including those which are almost unique to the tropics. These include: 1. epiphytes, 2. lianas (woody vines), 3. stranglers
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Tropical Wet Forest Autotrophic mechanically independent plants include: 1. trees, 2. shrubs, 3. herbs.
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Tropical Wet Forest Autotrophic, mechanically dependent plants include: 1. Climbers such as woody‑lianas and herbaceous‑vines. 2. Stranglers , which begin life dependent on another plant, and later become independent (example, figs).
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Vines in the Aroid Family
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Tropical Wet Forest 3. Epiphytes , which grow on the stem of another plant. Some send roots down to ground, some climb up tree trunks to branches. Heterotrophic plants such as saprophytes and parasites . These include both fungi and higher plants.
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Load of Epiphytes
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Tropical Wet Forest The majority of plants are woody and large. Many plants known only as herbs in the temperate zone are woody and large in the tropics. Examples include: 1. Legumes, which are canopy trees, 2. Bamboos, which are large “woody" grasses, 3. Tree ferns.
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Flowering Legumes in Costa Rica
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Tree Fern
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Tropical Wet Forest Trees are usually larger than in the temperate zone and forests are taller (50‑55m common, 60m not uncommon, 100 m has been observed). They are not as tall as the giant redwoods.
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Tropical Wet Forest The trees usually have straight, slender trunks which branch near the top (at 15‑20 m). Wet forest trees are almost entirely evergreens , with only an occasional one becoming deciduous for a short time.
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Tropical Wet Forest The shrub layer is a mixture of true shrubs and tree saplings waiting for a light gap to open before maturing.
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