What Are Tropical Rainforest Landforms?

tropical-rainforest-landforms Credit: tanetahi/Flickr/CC-BY-2.0

Tropical rainforest landforms are areas that lie between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Tropic of Cancer, are covered in forest and experience a high level of rain. While many small tropical rainforests persist on Earth, the three primary tropical rainforest landforms occur in the Amazon basin of South America, equatorial Africa and the Southeast Asian peninsula and archipelago.

Tropical rainforests absorb a lot of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and produce much of the planet’s oxygen. Additionally, as trees engage in a process known as transpiration, they pump water from underground and release it into the atmosphere. This has a cooling effect on the planet and helps to moderate the temperature.

Each rainforest differs slightly from the others. For example, the rainforests of Southeast Asia have much higher canopies than those of Amazonia or Africa. This has led to the evolution of many flying and gliding animals, such as flying snakes and gliding frogs.

Tropical rainforests are the most biologically diverse landforms in the world, and they hold more species of plants, fungi, insects, reptiles and birds than anywhere else does. Many scientists suspect that only a small percentage of the species living in these habitats have been cataloged.