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Re: When is a rain forest not a rain forest?

  • Subject: Re: When is a rain forest not a rain forest?
  • From: "Daniel Devor" <plantguy@zoominternet.net>
  • Date: Thu, 1 May 2008 19:17:08 -0400

Most people consider the coastal temperate rainforest extending from Oregon to Alaska to be a rainforest atleast in name and it is considered to have one of the most complex ecosystems in the world, although not as diverse as the tropical rainforests to which you refer......this obviously begs the question of exactly how a "rainforest" is defined.  When you hike through it you are certainly overwhelmed by the understory plants, or atleast I was.  So, are all texts inaccurate when they describe the forests of our pacific northwest this way?  Just curious,
 
Dan
 
Dan Devor
Gibsonia, PA
 
 
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, May 01, 2008 5:16 PM
Subject: Re: [Aroid-l] When is a rain forest not a rain forest?

Seve,
 
You are right, in North America there are no rainforests, only deciduous subtropical forest, in Panama or Southern Mexico down throught Brazil and other Southamerican countries you can find evergreen tropical rainforest, the same in Asia, down to about 20 deg. of N latitude there are deciduous forests and where the monsoon climate begins there equally start the rain forest. And of course it also depends from the subclimate, when it's dry and cold of too hot, the rainforest od not occur at all (like Sahara in Africa), the rainforest are present only in the narrow area between the tropics, the equatorial Africa.
Every continent except Europe (and Antarctica :) ) has it's own belt of tropical rainforest. It is always cut by the Ecuator, then there are deserts, priairies and similar dry bioms, and as we go longer there are deciudous leaf-bearing (?) forest gradually replaced by the coniferous evergreens taygah. Also rainforest do do not occur in high mountains even when the latitude could allow them to grow there.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, May 01, 2008 9:49 AM
Subject: [Aroid-l] When is a rain forest not a rain forest?

Well, now I'm terribly confused!  A note published on the Aroid l last night from Leo Martin, director of the Cactus and Succulent Society of America indicates Epiphyllum species are not rain forest plants.  But they live in rain forests.  "Steve - They aren't rain forest plants. I've seen some of them in Mexico.  There are indeed cacti that are rain forest plants but Epiphyllum in general aren't, with the possible exception of E. chrysocardium.  They are denizens of tropical deciduous forest. In other words, 4 months of summer rain, 8 months of no rain (but with normal nighttime dew.) Most (not all) of Mexico has this climate regime. I haven't been to Central America but there's plenty of tropical deciduous forest there too." 
 
This dilemma appears to involve the definition of what is and isn't a rain forest.  I've read many times in Dr. Croat's material these forests are known to have dry, moist and wet regions and I thought I understood that.  But now it appears I am left to consider plants that live in the dry region not to be rain forest plants.  I'm really confused and obviously have a lot more to learn.  But, I am trying.
 
I spent a good deal of the night working Mr. Martin's note into the page and am doing my best to not take a position.  I am not an expert and will not try to defend a position just because I don't understand all the ramifications.  But this one is rattling my mind!
 
 
Steve


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