Forests are one of the most important biomes on earth. They provide a wide range of “ecosystem services,” from watershed protection and carbon absorption to renewable energy and timber production.
Important reservoirs of plant and animal biodiversity in locations ranging from China to Latin America and many places in between, forests provide key components of the environmental, social and economic well-being of societies around the world.
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Borneo peat swamp forestsLast Updated on 2014-04-15 17:45:53
Although the Borneo peat swamp forests are not as biodiverse as neighbouring lowland rainforests, the Borneo Peat Swamp Forests are some of the most speciose peat swamp forests in Southeast Asia. Peat swamp forests are a key habitat for the unique endangered Borneo endemic proboscis monkey (Nasalis larvatus). They are also home to the world's most desirable aquarium fish, the arowana (Scleropages formosus).
This ecoregion is made up of the peat swamp forests along the western coasts of the island of Borneo, within the Malaysian state of Sarawak and Indonesian Kalimantan. Most of the peat swamp forests are associated with coastal areas, but two large areas of peat swamp forests occur around Lake Mahakam and Lake Kapuas. Based on the Köppen climate zone system, this ecoregion falls in the tropical wet climate zone.
The peat swamp forests of Borneo have vegetative and... More »
Borneo montane rainforestsLast Updated on 2014-04-15 17:23:27
The Borneo montane rainforests can be likened to montane islands in a sea of lowland dipterocarp forests. This isolation has produced a unique and diverse set of montane species. Of Borneo's endemic bird species, twenty-three (73 percent) are montane. There are more than 150 mammal species in montane forests, making this ecoregion globally outstanding for mammal richness, and it is the most speciose montane rain forest found in the Indo-Pacific region. Despite this wealth of diversity, large tracts of Borneo's montane forests have not been explored to catalog the flora and fauna.
This ecoregion represents the montane forests in the central region of the island of Borneo and falls within the boundaries of all three nations with territory in Borneo: Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei. Montane forests are much cooler and moister than lowland forests. For every 1000 meters (m)... More »
Madagascar mangrovesLast Updated on 2014-04-15 15:37:23Shielded from monsoon winds by the central mountains of Madagascar, Madagascar mangroves occupy a wide range of environmental and climatic conditions along the western coastline along the Indian Ocean. Although the ecoregion’s species richness is low, it is unusual in supporting certain endemic tree species. The mangroves also shelter highly diverse mollusk and crustacean communities, while capturing sediment that threatens coral reefs and seagrass beds. Birds, sea turtles, and dugongs all utilize mangroves, as do the Malagasy people. Rice farming, shrimp aquaculture and construction materials are all carried out within these mangroves.
On Madagascar, mangroves are found primarily along the western coast. They occur in a wide range of environmental and climatic conditions, fostered by a low coastal platform, high tidal range, and a constant freshwater supply from numerous... More »
Eastern Zimbabwe montane forest-grassland mosaicLast Updated on 2014-04-12 22:12:44
The Eastern Zimbabwe montane forest-grassland mosaic ecoregion spans the border between Mozambique and Zimbabwe; the mountains within this relatively small ecoregion form part of a larger mountain chain that extends through much of Africa, from the Ethiopian highlands to the Drakensberg Mountains in South Africa. These mountains consist of a complex mosaic of forests, woodlands, and grasslands that demonstrate strong floristic links to the surrounding areas of East and Southern Africa. The fauna also shows affinities to the mountains of these areas, although several endemic animals are found here as well. The characteristic rainy and foggy climate makes this region suitable for coffee, tea, and dairy farming as well as exotic timber plantations. However, the steep and largely inaccessible nature of these mountains has preserved native vegetation, as has the large Chimanimani... More »
Antipodes Subantarctic Islands tundraLast Updated on 2014-04-10 14:22:39
This ecoregion consists of five island groups spread out across the Southern Ocean: Bounty Islands, Auckland Islands, Antipodes Islands, Campbell Island, and Macquarie Island. Their remote location means they are critically important as resting and breeding areas for thousands of marine mammals and millions of seabirds. Biological and geological values are outstanding, with the islands boasting a highly endemic plant flora and a range of endemic and endangered birds. All of the islands are Nature Reserves and listed as World Heritage Sites, but introduced animals, especially mammalian predators, are of serious concern.
Scattered throughout the Southern Ocean, these islands range from the cold temperate zone (Macquarie Island) to the cool temperate zone, where the rest of the islands lie. All the islands are situated between the Antarctic and Sub-tropical Convergences. Area,... More »
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