Tropical vegetation

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Tropical coastline vegetation in Maui with Scaevola taccada bush in the foreground
Dense rainforest vegetation in the Itatiaia National Park in Brazil.

Tropical vegetation is any vegetation in tropical latitudes. Plant life that occurs in climates that are warm year-round is in general more biologically diverse that in other latitudes. Some tropical areas may receive abundant rain the whole year round, but others have long dry seasons which last several months and may vary with geographic location. These seasonal droughts have great impact on the vegetation.[1]

Plant species native to the tropics found in tropical ecosystems are known as tropical plants. Some examples of tropical ecosystem are the Madagascar dry deciduous forests, the eastern Madagascar rainforests, the broadleaf forests of the Thai highlands and the El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico.


The term 'Tropical vegetation' often is used in the sense of lush and luxuriant, but not all the vegetation of the tropics could be adequately defined as such. Despite their lush appearance, often the soils of tropical forests are low in nutrient content making them quite vulnerable to slash-and-burn deforestation techniques, which are sometimes an element of shifting cultivation agricultural systems.[2] Tropical vegetation may include the following habitat types:

Typical Caribbean vegetation in Cuba.

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Archibold, O. W. Ecology of World Vegetation. New York: Springer Publishing, 1994.
  • Barbour, M.G, J.H. Burk, and W.D. Pitts. "Terrestrial Plant Ecology". Menlo Park: Benjamin Cummings, 1987.
  • Breckle, S-W. Walter's Vegetation of the Earth. New York: Springer Publishing, 2002.
  • Van Der Maarel, E. Vegetation Ecology. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 2004.


  1. ^ 2006-01-13, Sciencedaily: Deep-rooted Plants Have Much Greater Impact On Climate Than Experts Thought
  2. ^ "Underlying Causes of Deforestation". UN Secretary-General’s Report. 
  3. ^ Facts about the world's tropical rainforests from The Nature Conservancy
  4. ^ The Regents of the University of Michigan. The Tropical Rain Forest. Retrieved on 14 March 2008.
  5. ^ Newman, Arnold (2002). Tropical Rainforest: Our Most Valuable and Endangered Habitat With a Blueprint for Its Survival Into the Third Millennium (2 ed.). Checkmark. ISBN 0816039739. 
  6. ^ Types of rainforests
  7. ^ "WWF - Tropical and Subtropical Dry Broadleaf Forest Ecoregions". Retrieved 2012-09-25. 
  8. ^ WWF - Grasslands

External links[edit]