An interactive walk through a temperate cedar-hemlock forest. See how the forest is put together and how many of the topics discussed in these articles are related -- everything from riparian zones and plant succession to the destruction of the forests.
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Vines and epiphytes ("air plants" which grow on the trunks and branches of trees) are most common in tropical rainforests where there is not a pronounced dry season. Photo by Maya Walters.
Around the equator, conditions are generally
favorable for moist tropical forests because of frequent rainstorms. Moving slightly away from the equator, less rainfall and different soil
types make it easier for seasonal "monsoon forests" and more open woodlands to grow, though some tropical forests do stretch farther
The rainforests are the most well-known type of forest in the tropics, but this region also contains dry forests and seasonal forests. The word "rainforest" is now being used to describe many moist forests in the tropics which are not "true" rainforests. A tropical forest of broad-leaved trees with a constant, abundant supply of rainfall is the traditional meaning of the term "rainforest". Moist tropical forests with deciduous trees are commonly called seasonal forests, due to the fact that they experience a definite dry season.
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[climate] [water] [soil] [seasons]
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