Productivity of Tropical Forests and Tropical Woodlands

  • E. Medina
  • H. Klinge
Part of the Encyclopedia of Plant Physiology book series (PLANT, volume 12 / D)


The forests to be considered in this chapter are roughly located between 23° on either side of the equator and are climatically characterized by high total annual insolation >4.5·105 J cm-2, and thermal regimes in which daily temperature oscillations are frequently more pronounced than seasonal average monthly differences. The magnitude of the seasonal differences in temperature increases towards higher latitudes from a climatic equator, by definition the belt with more homogeneous climate in which weather is most predictable (UNESCO 1978). Near the equator, rainfall is generally high (> 2,000 mm per year) and evenly distributed during the year, with seasonality increasing with one or two annual dry periods towards higher latitudes. Total amount of rainfall varies greatly within the tropics, and because of predominantly high potential evapotranspiration, there exists a great diversity of forest ecosystems regulated by water availability during the year. Altitude modifies average temperature and water availability, because mountain ranges change incidence of insolation and rainfall regime.


Tropical Forest Rain Forest Specific Leaf Area Tropical Rain Forest Litter Production 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin · Heidelberg 1983

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  • E. Medina
  • H. Klinge

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