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Monday, April 11, 2016

Jungles

A jungle is an undeveloped forest in a tropical climate with high humidity. This environment spawns a great diversity of species. When these forests are cleared to produce land for grazing animals or places to live, the nutrients quickly leave. The nutrients are constantly in a state of use by the animals and plants. They are better known as tropical rain forests.

The names of forests change depending on the climate and the amount of rainfall. All forests have plenty of rain. Trees only grow where there is adequate moisture. When there is not enough rain for trees, the land is covered in grasses. The grasses of the plain states were so tall, men on horseback could just see over the grass as they traveled.

With less rainfall, plants change to those that cope with dry conditions such as succulents and cactus. In extreme desert conditions, plant growth is minimal to non-existent.

On the west coast of North America in Canada and Alaska, the forests are called temperate rain forests. They are called rain forests in that they receive a great deal of rain. Although the latitude of Alaska is much further North than the latitude where most Canadians live in Canada, the weather is milder due to warm ocean currents.  The interior provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba are much colder than British Columbia. They are further from this warm moist air.

England does not get a lot of snow. The warm Gulf Stream that originates in the Caribbean warms the British Isles. We associate harsh weather with the highlands of Scotland. Scotland is buffered from the warmth by Ireland.The higher elevations found in Scotland creates a colder climate.

The coniferous forests of central Canada is called a taiga or boreal forest. Tall evergreen trees are able to allow snow to fall on the ground versus weighing down their branches.

Much of the eastern United States and Canada have deciduous broad leaf forests. These forests have hardwood trees which lose their leaves in the winter months to return in spring for the summer months. The Southeastern Coastal Plain of the United States has Southern Pine Forests in nutrient weak, sandy soil.

There are many names for the different forests in the world in addition to the different ecosystems. In mountainous regions, the ecosystems change rapidly as you go higher in elevation.

So we think of any heavily forested area that is heavily vegetated as a jungle. But not all jungles and forests are alike. They are affected by temperature, elevation, ocean currents and rainfall to create their particular ecosystem.


Southern Pine Forest along  Cedar Creek in Georgia USA during winter
Coniferous forest along highway through Denali National Forest in Alaska, USA summer

Forested area of Alaska between Anchorage and Seward - summer

Waterfall in Rain forest in Hawaii






3 comments:

  1. Lovely pictures and a great post. I love trees and have been since I was a child. I even did a project on trees when I was seven years old, not that I can remember any facts or names. I just love their beauty. I'm not sure where the fascination comes from, but I'll hug a tree any day.

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