Whitmore, T. C. Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom.
Last reviewed:September 2017
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- Primary and secondary communities
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- Tropical deforestation and climatic change
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A type of dense forest that occurs in continually wet climates with no dry season. Rainforests comprise some of the most important and oldest ecosystems on Earth. Characterized by high amounts of rainfall, rainforests contain a rich diversity of plant and animal life. There are relatively small areas of temperate rainforests in the Americas and Australasia, but most occur in the tropics and subtropics (Fig. 1). See also: Biodiversity; Ecosystem; Forest; Forest ecosystem; Forestry; Plant geography; Tropical forest
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