Tropical Forests (Ecosystem) by Peter D. Moore

By Peter D. Moore

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The third possible path for light is one of reflection. eps 1 2 3 Sun Blue sky Cloud © Infobase Publishing 1 Transmitted ✓ ✓ ✓ 2 Direct ✓ ✓ ✓ 3 Reflected ✓ ✓ ✓ Climate and Tropical Forests F 27 its path toward the forest floor. As the diagram illustrates, the overall light climate of a forest is therefore very complicated, with the possibility of nine different types of light reaching the forest floor. Of these various sources of light, only the sunfleck component contains the full intensity of sunlight; all of the others have lost energy in the course of their passage through the canopy.

Much of the lowland region of this island has a consistently 22 F Tropical Forests wet tropical climate, with an average annual rainfall of 110 inches (280 cm) and a minimum of four inches (10 cm) in each month. This climate lies well within the requirements of evergreen rain forest, and this is the characteristic vegetation of the region. There are occasions, however, when monthly rainfall falls below four inches for two consecutive months, which constitutes a dry period, but this rarely happens more than once a year.

India and the western part of Southeast Asia, includ- ing Burma and northwest Thailand, have monsoons in the summer as the ITCZ moves north and winds sweep into the Asian continent from the Indian Ocean. The Himalaya Mountain chain blocks these rain-bearing winds and prevents them from moving on into Tibet and western China. As a consequence, much of the moisture from the winds falls on the southern slopes of the mountains and drains back southward, through the Himalayan foothills (see illustration below), into the Indian Ocean via the Ganges River, passing through Bangladesh.

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