Abstract for S17


Tropical Forest & Woodland [does not occur in Canada]
ForĂȘts et terres boisĂ©es de la zone tropicale [absentes du Canada]


Tropical Forest & Woodland varies from dry to humid forests, from sea level to montane elevations, and includes forested wetlands. Tropical dry forest (sometimes called Tropical Dry Forest & Woodland) range in canopy types, including evergreen, semi-evergreen (needle-leaved or broad-leaved), or largely or wholly deciduous. Tree growth forms predominate and may be species-rich, with micro- to mesophyll leaves, but succulent species may be present. It occurs in humid dry tropical climates with a pronounced dry season, during which some or all of the trees may lose their leaves, or leaves may be moderately small and evergreen sclerophyllous. Canopy heights decrease and canopy coverage tends to decrease as the climate dries until the forests are reduced to open, short statured (5-15 m) woodlands.

Tropical humid forests (including moist and wet forests) occur in the humid tropics where rainfall varies from abundant and well-distributed throughout the year to somewhat seasonal. Tree growth forms predominate, are tall, often of numerous species, some with buttressed bases, often smooth bark, and evergreen meso- to macrophyll leaves. Also present may be tree ferns, large woody climbers or lianas, and both vascular and nonvascular epiphytes, often of greater diversity than the ground layer. Heights may exceed 30 m. Tropical forested wetlands include swamps and mangroves, where soils are seasonally or permanently saturated to inundated by freshwater or saltwater, with hydrophytic plants and, in the case of mangrove, distinctive hydromorphic growth forms adapted to saline conditions.

Source: Faber-Langendoen, D., T. Keeler-Wolf, D. Meidinger, C. Josse, A. Weakley, D. Tart, G. Navarro, B. Hoagland, S. Ponomarenko, J.-P. Saucier, G. Fults, E. Helmer. 2014. Classification and description of world formation types. Part I (Introduction) and Part II (Description of world formations). Hierarchy Revisions Working Group, Federal Geographic Data Committee, FGDC Secretariat, U.S. Geological Survey. Reston, VA, and NatureServe, Arlington, VA.

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