The Tropical Rainforest Climate





The Tropical Rainforest Climate

If an individual is taken from Kisangani, and thrust into Macae, Brazil, one would hardly notice the difference. The only disparity between these two geographical locations is in their social factors. As the cities, speak French and Portuguese respectively. The similarities of these locations can be attributed to their shared climate. Both cities are found at the heart of a tropical rainforest. Due to the similarity of climate between the two locations, the terrain, the soils, and vegetation have developed relatively in a similar manner. Macae and Kisangani are located in near the equator with warm and moist climates. Majority of there vegetation is indigenous free from any human manipulation. These two areas are geographical blessed with the same resources and face the similar social challenges such as the ensuing deforestation.

The similar climate is a result of their proximity to the Equator. The vegetation comprises of trees that reach great lengths and grow very close together. The trees form a canopy at the top as they attempt to outgrow each other to gain access to the sun. The height is supported by wide buttress roots that form networks on the ground working in tandem with the high caliber of the trees. The forest constitutes of exotic hardwood trees that are able to scale to great lengths without periodical breakages, as the termites cannot penetrate them (Brookshire et al 34). Due to the proximity of the trees, sunlight rarely reaches the base of the forest. As such, there is scarce vegetation on the forest floor with the exception of mosses on fallen trees and mushrooms. The decaying matter decomposes quickly due to the high temperatures. This is a negative factor as there is no accumulation of humus essential for the soil. The leaves of these trees are broad to maximize transpiration simultaneously capitalizing on any sunlight that falls on their surface. There is plenty of water due to the torrential rainfall, which occurs mostly in the afternoon. The rain is well distributed throughout the year. It follows that by experiencing a day in Kisangani a person can predict the rest of the weather in Macae in that month. The region has only two seasons the wet and dry seasons, which are characterized by a reduced intensity in sunlight and a shorter length of the day for the former, and a reverse of these effects for the latter (Swaine, M.D & Whitmore 83). However, the difference is not severe. The evergreen vegetation reflects this climatic stability. These regions are predominantly sloping and punctuated with multiple rivers. Kasangi and Macae receive concentrated energy from the tropical sun this produces a local climate due to the inter-tropical convergence zone formed, otherwise known as the ITCZ. Warm air rich in moisture rises after condensing to release short but frequent down pours. Due to the high temperature characteristic of area, the air has a very high saturation capacity. Convectional rainfall is the result of over saturation.

The similarities can be drawn from the similar evolutionary history. The vegetation is pollinated in a similar fashion though the forests are made up of different species. The land masses of Africa and South America belonged to a singular super continent called the Gondwanaland (Bush et al 32). This is evidenced by the similar rock formations at the South American East coast and the West coast of Africa. An attempt to merge the shapes of their coastline will also prove congruent. When the vegetation was undergoing diversification during the Cretaceous, the African and South American plates were still in close proximity as such the flora remained virtually identical. As the plates moved further apart, the similarities started decreasing.

The soils in the areas are characterized by a deficiency of major nutrients. The latter is has better drainage capabilities. The physical and chemical properties of the soil determine the growth rate of the forests. The higher the availability of phosphorus and nitrogen leads to a corresponding increase in tree turnover rates. These deeply weathered soils are developed on the Gondwanan shields further linkage to the plate tectonic theory. The limitation of phosphorus hinders the uptake of carbon minerals. The carbon harnessed by these plants is the readily available gaseous variant. The buttress roots help in the rapid uptake of nutrients from the shallow soils as the deeper ones are heavily leached they get. These multifunctional roots also aid in water storage and facilitate gaseous exchange through their enlarged surface area.

The residents of the two towns both acknowledge the importance of the forest to their ecosystem as such have started campaigns against logging illegal or otherwise. They recognize that their financial prosperity of their locality is directly connected to the environmental sustainability. The residents have started aforestation initiatives to preserve the indigenous forests. They have started planting softwoods to satisfy their logging demands. Only recently, have these cities realized that there is value in the aesthetic beauty of the forest. In response, many youth in conjunction with the local administrations have started eco tourism initiatives.


Works Cited

Brookshire, E. N. J., et al. “Large losses of inorganic nitrogen from tropical rainforests suggest a lack of nitrogen limitation.” Ecology letters 15.1 (2012): 9-16.

Bush, Mark, John Flenley, and William Gosling. Tropical rainforest responses to climatic change. Springer Science & Business Media, 2011.

Swaine, M. D., and T. C. Whitmore. “On the definition of ecological species groups in tropical rain forests.” Vegetatio 75.1-2 (1988): 81-86.


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