Rainforests

Rainforests are ecoregions that typically receive between 180 to 210 centimeters of rainfall per annum. These forest types typically have canopies that attain heights of 30 to 45 meters. Rainforests may occur in tropical or temperate zones, but are customarily characterized by elevated levels of endemism and species richness. Sunlight penetration to the forest floor is a minimal quantity, generally less than two percent of the canopy value. 

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Madagascar lowland forests Last Updated on 2015-06-13 15:41:54 WWF Terrestrial Ecoregions Collection The Madagascar lowland forests include a narrow strip of humid forests along the east coast of Madagascar, low-elevation forests (from sea level up to 800 metres). Madagascar, the fourth largest island in the world, has been isolated for 150 to 180 million years from any continental landmass. This prolonged isolation is the major factor that led to extremely high levels of endemism of plant and animal species. Endemism within the island is approximately 80 to 90 percent for all groups, and endemic families and genera are commonplace. It is estimated that 85 percent of the island's 12,000 species of flowering plants are found nowhere else in the world. This unique biodiversity has led to the recognition of Madagascar, which is roughly twice the size of Arizona, as a "living laboratory" and the... More »
Chocó-Darién moist forests Last Updated on 2014-06-21 10:04:43 The Chocó-Darien moist forests ecoregion is one of the most species rich lowland areas in the world, with exceptional abundance and endemism over a broad range of taxa including plants, birds, amphibians and arthropods. The biological distinctiveness is exceptional, with considerable biodiversity. It is classified within the Tropical and Subtropical Broadleaf Forests biome. Due to multiple threats within the ecoregion, its conservation status is vulnerable, although relatively stable due to its remoteness. There are, however threats of habitat destruction and the attendant degradation, in areas with insufficient conservation. In addition, this ecoregion is culturally rich in that certain indigenous communities with strong ties to its ecosystems still persist here.   The ecoregion of the wet forests of Chocó-Darién extends from eastern Panama, in the... More »
Central Pacific coastal forests Last Updated on 2014-05-27 12:04:50 WWF Terrestrial Ecoregions Collection The Central Pacific coastal forests stretch from southern Oregon in the USA to the northern tip of Vancouver Island, Canada. Chief habitats of this varied ecoregion include a mosaic of sea stacks, sandy beaches, rocky coastal cliffs, coastal headlands, tidepools, mudflats, salt marshes, estuaries, streams, various sized rivers , grass balds and a gamut of forest types. There are a total of 324 vertebrate taxa recorded in the ecoregion, implying a modest level of faunal species richness. The Pacific coastal coniferous forests are classified within the Temperate Coniferous Forests biome, and also designated as ecoregion NA0510. The Columbia River is the river of largest volume that drains the Central Pacific coastal forests. Influenced by cool moist air from the ocean, the Central Pacific coastal forests... More »
Hawaii tropical moist forests Last Updated on 2014-05-15 16:49:32 WWF Terrestrial Ecoregions Collection Hawai'i tropical moist forests are comprised of mixed mesic forests (about 750 to 1250 meters elevation), rainforests (found above mixed mesic forests up to 1,700 m), wet shrublands, and bogs in swampy areas. Moist to wet forests are commonly found on the windward lowland and montane areas of the larger islands and on mountain tops of some of the smaller islands. Koa (Acacia spp.) and Ohi’a lehua (Metrosideros spp.) are common dominant canopy tree species. Mesic forests are the richest for many taxa and have the highest proportion of endemic tree species. Many of the honeycreepers, an endemic group of birds that displays many specialized adaptations to different food and plant resources, were found in mesic and wet forests. Hawaiian moist forest is the main habitat for other forest birds... More »
Valdivian temperate forests Last Updated on 2014-05-14 22:48:26 WWF Terrestrial Ecoregions Collection The Valdivian temperate forests and the more hygrophilous vegetation of the mediterranean climate zone of central Chile, represent a veritable biogeographic island, separated from climatically similar areas by the extensive Pacific Ocean barriers and flanking deserts. Rainfall varies so dramatically within the ecoregion, that some of the sub-units can be considered dry forests, with others classified as rainforest. The Valdivian temperate forest is characterised by its extraordinary endemism (e.g., 90 percent at the species level and 34 percent at the genus level for woody species) and the great antiquity of its biogeographic relationships. However, faunal species richness is only modest, with only 290 vertebrate taxa having been recorded, in spite of the broad latitude niche available. Its taxons show close... More »