Natural paradises in danger to be saved: Tierras Bajas Tropical Forest



by LORENZO CIOTTI

Natural paradises in danger to be saved: Tierras Bajas Tropical Forest

The Tierras Bajas Tropical Forest, in Mexico, is one of the largest areas in the world and includes all subtropical and tropical ecosystems from central Mexico to the Panama Canal. Climate change is increasing the biodiversity loss of the area.

According to FAO, the net loss of forests is estimated at 7.3 million hectares per year, equal to twenty thousand hectares per day. In Latin America, the Amazon loses 25,276 square kilometers of forest. The most fragile ecosystems are all in danger of extinction, just think of the marshy and brackish forests.

20% of mangrove forests have disappeared since 1980. The causes of their destruction and disintegration are many: from fires, natural gases that arise from limestone, to conversion for agricultural use, to overpopulation. But often the timber industry, even when it practices selective logging, is the pioneer of deforestation, paving the way for other factors.

The tropical rainforest climate is part of the equatorial climate characterized by year-round stability and absence of seasonal variation. The average temperature is constant (average annual t ° 25-27 ° C) and the annual temperature range is maintained within 2-3 oC.

The relative humidity level is high and rainfall is very consistent (2000-4000 mm / year) in the form of showers and thunderstorms.

Natural paradises in danger to be saved: Tierras Bajas Tropical Forest

The combination of all these climatic factors favors the development of the luxuriant vegetation present in it.

They are characterized by high productivity and biodiversity (even hundreds of forest species in each hectare of surface) and are very vulnerable to anthropogenic alterations. Most of the plant species, insects, and microorganisms have not yet been discovered and cataloged by scientists.

Tropical rainforests are also called the lungs of the earth, but this definition has no real scientific basis, as forests are considered to be oxygen neutral. Tall evergreen deciduous trees are the dominant forms. The tallest trees emerge from the forest mantle and host a rich flora of epiphytes among their branches.

Undergrowth in a rainforest is limited by lack of light, and consists predominantly of plants, ferns, and young trees that can live in semi-darkness, as well as lianas that catch light by climbing trees. In deciduous or semi-deciduous forest, or where a disturbing factor has intervened, the soil is colonized by fast-growing lianas and pioneer plants, and the dense vegetation is called jungle.

Rainforests are characterized by abundant rainfall. The soil is therefore often poor in nutrients washed away by torrential rains, while the rapid decomposition of organic matter by bacteria prevents the accumulation of humus layers.

The high concentration of iron and aluminum oxides produces the characteristic red color of the soil. In areas of more recent geological formation, such as in the case of soils of volcanic origin, the tropical soil can be more fertile, as in the case of the flooded forest, where the annual flood deposits a fertile layer of silt.