Rain forest

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rain forest in the Sai Yok national park, Thailand

with the frequently used word rain forest one defines the zone, the one nature-left forest with a damp-hot climate of more than 2000 mm Precipitation in the annual average accommodates. One differentiates between the evergreen rain forest and the moderate rain forest. One calls an evergreen rain forest also tropical rain forest, there it there - contrary to a moderate rain forest - more than nine one half damp monthsin the year gives. A further difference consists of it that evergreen rain forests possess a clearly larger diversity of species, it is the areas with most kinds on earth.

Table of contents

geographical spreading

Verbreitung des tropischen Regenwaldes und des tropischen Feucht- und Monsumwaldes
spreading of the tropical rain forest and the tropical damp and Monsumwaldes

evergreen rain forests finding on all continents along the equator in the time of day climate (without seasons). The largest connected surface (more than half of the total area of all rain forests) accommodates the Amazon basin.

Moderate rain forest comes particularly at the west coast of North America, in Chile as well as on Tasmanien and New Zealand forwards.

elevator layering

the term “tropical rain forest” marks an ecological system, which includes three types: the low land rain forest to approximately 800 m height, the mountain rain forest until approximately 1500 m height, which into the wet forest changes.

soils andNutrient cycle

both rain forest types is common the fact that the soil consists of relatively nutrient-poor red earth, yellow earth or Latosol (only thin humus - layer) and only conditionally to the agriculture is suitable. Also the unfruchtbare clay mineral Kaolinit, which is washed, contributes for this. In the rain foresta chemical decomposition predominantly prevails. After approximately 10 years the soils are so far leached out that they are no longer usable.

Evergreen tropical rain forests could develop (nearly) a perfect cycle due to the all-season vegetation time without seasons. All formerly in the soil (oftengrow tropical rain forests on so-called. Ferralsols, designated after the coining/shaping soil-forming process of the Ferralitisierung) of existing nutrients were transferred of age-old soils into the living biomass, the forests stand on the bright quartz (contrary to by ice ages caused, young andnutrient-rich soils or the borealen coniferous forests with increasing definition of the nutrients in dead biomass, which are mobilized only again by fires to the considerable extent). The Mykhorizza in such a way specified leads the minerals to the trees and lives in such a way with them ina symbiosis, since the trees cannot take up the minerals alone, because the soil is for them only a physical stability form.

80% of the biomass are produced in the crown region, therefore hold themselves about 2/3 of the animals in the crowns of tree, onlyfew on the ground up. For the rain forest its large animal and plant variety are characteristic. Probably about 30 million different kinds live on earth (after Terry Edwin, Smithsonian institution, 1982; 2003 yet do not verify and rather the lower bound).The predominant number in the rain forest, among them different mammals, reptile, amphibian, kinds of bird and above all insects (in particular in the Kronendach) exhibit large variety (diversity) at animal and also vegetable life in the tropical rain forest; whereby a tree species often onlywith 1-5 copies per hectar occurs. The sheet cutter ants are the rare Wanderer between these two worlds.

The falling down sheets and branches as well as animal waste are supplied to the nutrient cycle by the climate very fast again. The roots of the often enormous jungle trees andother plants are settled at ground level, in order to take up the nutrients resulting there again.

The Rodung of tropical rain forests leads to the irreversible destruction. Through Ausschwemmung the predominant part of the nutrients is lost. Also nearly irrevocablly planting becomes with each gefällten treeand animal species exterminated (see diversity of species). In this connection distinctive between original, thus primary forest and secondary forest.

The fact that the cycle is only almost perfect shows up in natural degeneration of rain forests in the western South America (Colombia). There it comesto circular dying of the primary rain forest with the training of forest companies, which are comparable after Rodung with the secondary forests.

diversity of species

among other things by the extensive distribution of the individual tree species developed in the evergreen rain forest on thatGround singular phenomenon, that the largest diversity of species. According to estimations 40 60% of all kinds living on earth is in evergreen rain forests.


already today over 50% of all rain forests disappeared. For example is the rain forest Brazil by Brandrodung threatens, which leads to a majority the greenhouse gases produced by this country. However of August 2003 until August 2004 in Brazil 26,130 km were destroyed ² rain forest. That corresponds nearly to the surface of Brandenburg.

Due to continued predatory exploitation onthe still existing tropical rain forests for the purpose of the fast production of cheap by Brandrodung ash-fertilized field or tropical wood is continued an uncertain number of biological kinds acutely endangered, it exists the danger of the kind dying.

Each kind of the wood fallingbrings the building of roads by the forest with itself, by which unexplored areas become accessible. That leads to further interferences about like building of travelling waves. Building of travelling waves (also `shifting cultivation´ mentioned) counts by Brandrodungen, with which field is opened, besidethe Holzeinschlag to the strongest destroyers of the rain forest. Since the soil of an evergreen rain forest is very nutrient-poor, an area of arable land is enough only for few harvest cycles, afterwards a new surface must be opened.

selective impact

with selective impact becomespurposeful falling of individual trees designates. This form of the wood falling is to work against a depletion of the soils at nutrients in the evergreen rain forest. Ideal way is not drawn the utilizable tree surrounding fauna durably in. Often however that becomes for the evacuationusually very large trees a flight corridor struck, which ends then at a road.

Holzkohlegewinnung im Regenwald
Charcoal production in the rain forest

use of the wood

Mahagoni and Teakhölzer are used frequently in the external area, since they are very weather-proof. For music instruments becomesfrequently Mahagoni, Palisander and ebony blocked (see also Klangholz). The woods are in addition like, because they do not have Jahresringe due to the time of day climate.

Further areas of application are Küchenbrettchen, Einwegessstäbchen, garden furniture, and above all paper.

rain forest protection

numerous organizationsit it's duty made to protect the rain forest and the predatory exploitation work against.

Besides also sides in the Internet constructed themselves, which found sponsors for the rain forest. Each Internet user knows in such a way with one clicks a small contribution forthe rain forest carry out.

Among other things one can do in addition, without expensive noble woods only to 5% of the tree existence from the rain forest to be used there. The remainder is not only conditionally used nearly or. The surface of a football field becomes daily of theRain forest abgerodet.

see also

to rain forest house


  • Bärtels, Andreas (2002): Color Atlas tropical plants. ISBN 3-8001-3480-2
  • spirit, Helmut J. and Eric F. Lambin (2001): What drives Tropical Deforestation? LUCC report Series No. 4 (pdf)
  • GEO knowledge, No.25:Rain forest ISSN 0933-9736
  • Hallé, F., D. Cleyet Marrel, G. Ebersolt: With the airship over the treetops of the rain forest. ISBN of 3894054530
    (the first study of the crown forest shown in the jungle of the Tropics, often in scientific TV-transmissions and reported of GEO)
  • Kuster,Reto (2002):What creeps and crawls in the Tropics? ISBN 3-8317-1079-1
  • Silcock, Lisa (Hrsg.) (1990): The rain forest - a Hommage. ISBN 3-926537-17-5 (successful book of pictures)

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Wiktionary: Rain forest - word origin, synonyms and translations
Commons: Rain forest - pictures,Video and/or audio files

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