Hydrology and Biogeochemistry of Terra Firme Lowland Tropical Forests

  • Alex V. Krusche
  • Maria Victoria R. Ballester
  • Nei Kavaguichi Leite
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 216)


Tropical climates are characterized by high temperatures that do not fall below 18°C in the coolest month, according to the Köppen-Geiger climate classification system (Peel et al. 2007). This temperature regime strongly influences hydrology both at the global and local (10–102 km2) scales. Globally, irradiance from the sun affects the circulation of air masses and contributes to the formation of the Hadley cells and the associated convergence of trade winds from the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ) (McGregor and Nieuwolt 1998). The uplift of hot and humid air at the ITCZ results in intense precipitation that, together with high temperatures, characterizes tropical regions. For example, in humid tropical Western Nigeria with convective thunderstorm-type precipitation, rain intensities vary approximately between 13 and 240 mm h−1, whereas in temperate Washington, DC, with predominantly frontal precipitation, intensities typically vary from 0.8 to 51 mm h−1 (Jackson 1989).


Tropical Forest Overland Flow Bulk Precipitation Convective Rain Precipitation Depth 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alex V. Krusche
    • 1
  • Maria Victoria R. Ballester
    • 1
  • Nei Kavaguichi Leite
    • 1
  1. 1.Environmental Analysis and Geoprocessing LaboratoryCENA–University of São PauloSão PauloBrazil

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