J F M A M J J Asond

3.2.5 Mangroves and Gallery Forests

Important and typical tropical forests are also mangroves and gallery forests which deserve their own sections in this book (Chap. 7 and Sect. 9.1, respectively).

3.3 Horizontal Structure and Diversity of Tropical Forests

Biodiversity has many facets. The understanding of mechanisms of biodiversity is emerging only gradually, especially for the tropical environment, and there is a variety of hypotheses on diversity. Kratochwil (1998) has formulated and is assessing a set of 30 hypotheses as a basis for the development of a general theory of biodiversity. It is not the place here to develop a systematic account although this would be an attractive task in view of the particularly high diversity in many tropical forests constituting so called diversity hot spots. However, I shall allude to questions of diversity as I move through various aspects of the horizontal structure of tropical forests.

3.3.1 Diversity and the Spatial Structure of the Environment

Considering the various types of forests in Sects. 3.1 and 3.2, diversity of tropical forests has already been alluded to and the high floristic diversity in tropical rainforests has been mentioned (Sect. 3.2.1). This leads to the problem that the minimum quadrats of plant sociology become very large. Minimum quadrats give the smallest possible area in which all species occurring in a habitat are present, as illustrated in Fig. 3.15. Whitmore (1990) has used such species to area diagrams to illustrate the concept of floristic a-, (- and 7-diversity referring to different levels in landscapes (Noss 1983) (Fig. 3.16) as first defined by Whittaker (1975), i.e. by taking the richness of species as given by the number of different species per minimum quadrat:

Cloud Forest, La Carbonera

Rancho Grande all species

Moist Trade Wind Forest Rio Caura

Was this article helpful?

0 0
Renewable Energy 101

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable energy is energy that is generated from sunlight, rain, tides, geothermal heat and wind. These sources are naturally and constantly replenished, which is why they are deemed as renewable. The usage of renewable energy sources is very important when considering the sustainability of the existing energy usage of the world. While there is currently an abundance of non-renewable energy sources, such as nuclear fuels, these energy sources are depleting. In addition to being a non-renewable supply, the non-renewable energy sources release emissions into the air, which has an adverse effect on the environment.

Get My Free Ebook

Post a comment