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Plants and Animals

Plants and Animals

Seal Whiskers, the Secret Weapon for Looking

Despite the fact that the deep ocean is a gloomy region, deep-diving seals can readily discover their prey in it. Field investigations were performed by a multi-national research team to better understand how seals use their whiskers in their hunt for food.

The findings of the team were reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

Bioluminescence, the light that certain organisms carry in their bodies, gives illumination in deep ocean regions where no sunlight reaches. However, the amount of light produced by bioluminescence is quite restricted. Toothed whales may hunt in these dark waters by employing active biosonar, often known as echolocation, to locate their prey. Also hunting in these waters are deep-diving seals. However, they lack the active sonar that whales use to aid in hunting.

The researchers theorized that the seals use their well-developed whiskers to find food.

Most animals, unlike humans, have vibrissae, or moving facial whiskers. Vibrissae is derived from the Latin word “vibrio,” which meaning “to vibrate.” It emphasizes the receipt of vibration information and is used to characterize the seals’ whiskers. Due to the difficulties in studying whisker movement in a mammal’s natural surroundings, researchers have been unable to fully comprehend the natural movement and function of their face whiskers until now.

Previous research has used single whiskers, artificial models, or captive animals in experimental settings. The researchers sought to see how seals utilised their whiskers in their native deep-sea habitat. The researchers fitted tiny video recorders to free-ranging female northern elephant seals, selecting elephant seals for their very sensitive whiskers. The quantity of nerve fibers per whisker in these seals is the greatest of any animal. The video recorders were installed on each seal’s cheek to examine how it moved and used its whiskers in front of its mouth.

The researchers used video recorders to watch the elephant seals hunting in the harsh habitat of the deep, dark ocean. An LED red/infrared-light flash was included with the video logger. This light was invisible to the seals, but it let the researchers to monitor how they utilize their whisker as they approach their prey in a non-invasive way. The seals grabbed moving prey by feeling water movement, according to the cameras. The seals used rhythmic whisker movement—protracting and retracting their whiskers—to hunt for hydrodynamic cues with their whiskers stretched forward front of their mouth, similar to how a terrestrial mammal investigates its surroundings.

The researchers considered whether the light supplied by bioluminescence in some prey may aid the seals in their search for food. However, while bioluminescence is crucial, the seals’ sensitive whiskers are the principal means by which the mammal locates its prey.

Seals use their whiskers to hunt for, chase, and catch prey. “Our findings reveal another mammalian adaptation to complete darkness, solving a decades-long mystery about how deep-diving seals locate their prey without the biosonar used by whales,” said Taiki Adachi, Project Researcher at the National Institute of Polar Research / Assistant Project Scientist at the University of California Santa Cruz.

This study adds to previous whisker investigations on animals in captivity and advances the subject of sensory ecology of foraging. “The next step will be to perform comparative field investigations on other mammals to better understand how whisker-sensing shapes natural behavior in each mammalian species in various situations,” Adachi added.

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BiologyPlants and Animals

Bull shark ‘baby food’ is in great danger.

Before going out into coastal environments, juvenile bull sharks usually stay inside rivers, shielded by mangroves, when they are young and more vulnerable to predators. Until previously, experts thought that they obtained their nutritional needs from crustaceans and fish that graze on mangrove environments rather than saltmarshes.

The research, which was the first of its type, looked at the value of estuarine ecosystems as feeding grounds for juvenile bull sharks in the Clarence River, in New South Wales’ Northern Rivers District.

Tissue samples were taken from 55 young bull sharks caught by commercial fishermen and evaluated. The samples were compared to primary producer samples and organic matter collected from various sites along the Clarence River using a complicated scientific procedure known as’stable isotope analysis.’

Dr. Vincent Raoult of the University of Newcastle, a co-author of the study, described the findings as “surprising.”

“We discovered that once these young bull sharks reach roughly four years of age, they migrate to the estuary’s entrance and feed on fish and other species that rely primarily on vulnerable salt marsh habitats,” Dr. Raoult explained.

“Bull sharks are predators that feed on herbivores such as fish that devour saltmarsh rather than the primary producers tested in this study.”

“Mangrove environments made a little contribution to the diet of young bull sharks, which was surprising.”

Under attack from climate change

Dr. Raoult was both interested and disturbed to learn that saltmarshes are more nutritionally significant in a juvenile bull shark’s diet than mangroves.

“Saltmarsh is under jeopardy. It is vanishing in Australia and throughout the world as a result of coastal development and climate change “Dr. Raoult expressed his thoughts.

“It’s believed that we’ve already lost half of the world’s salt marshes.”

“We call saltmarsh a ‘coastal primary producer,’ since it supports a variety of creatures including crabs, elasmobranchs, and teleost fish, which are then preyed on by juvenile bull sharks.”

Informing adaptive management strategies

This study will help to inform adaptive management techniques targeted at mitigating climate change’s effects.

Dr. Yuri Niella of Macquarie University’s School of Natural Sciences, the paper’s lead author, stated that the saltmarsh must be protected from additional threats.

“These habitats are crucial not just for bull sharks but also for a variety of fish and crustacean species in the Clarence River,” Dr. Niella stated.

“This suggests that restoring saltmarsh ecosystems there might benefit not just bull sharks, but also enhance economic profit from improved fisheries catches.”

“Knowing how important estuarine ecosystems are to the creatures that live in these locations may help drive focused management decisions that benefit both people and wildlife.”

Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science published the study.

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Plants and Animals

The Way Mice Select The Best Route To Escape

It is critical to get out of a dangerous situation if you want to live. Animals must quickly learn a new habitat in order to pick the quickest path to safety. But how do they accomplish it without ever having been in a situation where they were threatened?

When mice are afraid, neuroscientists at UCL’s Sainsbury Wellcome Center investigated how they learn about their spatial surroundings and the behavioral methods they adopt to find the quickest way to a refuge.

The researchers reveal in a new study published today in Current Biology that mice learn the quickest way to escape after only 10 minutes of investigating the surroundings, and they don’t need any prior danger experience.

“Mice are trained to complete complicated mazes and given a lot of time to learn how to do so in many neuroscience research. Mice, on the other hand, do not have that luxury in nature; when threatened, they must flee to safety as swiftly as possible. The mystery is how mice learn so rapidly and without the benefit of trial and error “corresponding author on the study Tiago Branco, Group Leader at the Sainsbury Wellcome Center.

The SWC researchers conducted a series of behavioral studies in which mice were given a choice of two or three ways back to a shelter. The mice were scared by a loud sound or looming stimulus that simulated a predator, and the scientists then tracked their journey back to safety.

The neuroscientists first blocked the straight route to the refuge and discovered that the mice learned to utilize one of the alternate paths. The researchers next tested whether the mice could accurately pick between two pathways of varying lengths. Because the studies were conducted in the dark, the mice were unable to perceive the shortest path. However, the researchers discovered that mice prefer the shorter way, especially when the length differences between the two courses are greater.

The researchers looked at mice who were being threatened for the first time to see how they learned this and discovered that the inexperienced mice already preferred the shorter way. As a result, the mice must learn how to find the optimal escape path by natural exploration rather than having to encounter danger first. Furthermore, the mice discovered this after only ten minutes of exploration.

“Mice are preyed upon by a variety of animals, therefore knowing how to flee to safety is crucial for a mouse. When a mouse is placed in an unfamiliar area, its first concern is to map out the space and find out how to get to a safe location. This is part of the mouse’s natural repertoire of behavior and does not require explicit instruction “Tiago Branco expressed his thoughts.

Animals are supposed to learn through experiencing the value of something and mapping that value onto the spatial geometry. Mice, for example, would assign a lower value to the long road and learn to select the shorter path instead if they were regularly exposed to hazards and were stressed by traveling the long path back to safety.

The animals in this experiment, however, were not doing so. Instead, the mice felt that taking the shortest route to safety was the greatest option. This assumption is referred to as an inbuilt heuristic by the researchers. Mice have evolved a network of brain circuits that allow them to make these instinctive decisions following spontaneous exploration.

“Animals are excellent at learning about topics that are important to them. It’s vital to look at the behaviors that mice have evolved to undertake and the limits that they face in order to learn quickly and effectively in order to understand the mouse brain and the algorithms and neural circuits that enable learning “Tiago Branco said.

The researchers looked at three different computer models and questioned whether the artificial algorithms could do as well as the mice in the challenge. To investigate the algorithms, the researchers employed the brain to enable the mice to find the optimum escape path. They discovered that allowing the artificial mouse to explore for an extended period of time improved the performance of all three methods. The genuine mouse, on the other hand, had only 10 minutes to investigate.

So the researchers provided the artificial mouse with the real mouse’s trajectories and discovered that the simplest conceivable method, dubbed model-free, could not learn to take the shortest path. The two more complicated models, known as model-based, were capable of learning the ideal escape path, although they were only right about half the time. This provides the researchers with some insight into what the brain requires for the mice to choose the best escape path. The researchers’ next steps will be to investigate how this works in the brain and how mice transfer value to activities in this natural scenario. This question is a small component of the greater puzzle of how animals decide what actions to take depending on their expectations of what would be beneficial in the short or long run. Neuroscientists seek to obtain an understanding of this type of value mapping in an action behavior in order to gain insight into the types of algorithms that the brain may be utilizing to perform quick learning.

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Plants and Animals

World’s Richest And Most Diversified Surviving Rainforests Sumatra

Description

The Sumatra Tropical Rainforest is divided into 3 national parks: Gunung Leuser National Park, which covers 8,629.75 square kilometers, Kerinci Seblat National Park, which covers 13,753.50 square kilometers, and Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park, which covers 3,568 square kilometers. The rainforest encompasses a total land area of 25,000 square kilometers or 9,700 square miles and accounts for approximately of Sumatra’s rainforests.

Animals

Sumatra’s rainforest is home to some of the world’s most endangered animals and plants. This is the only area in the world where tigers, rhinoceroses, orangutans, and elephants coexist. The Probosci’s monkey, sun bear, clouded leopard, and flying fox bat are among the lesser-known wonders that call it home.

Gunung Leuser National Park is one of 18 Indonesian areas included in the World-Wide Fund for Nature’s list of the world’s 200 most important ecoregions for biodiversity preservation. In the year 2000, there were 174 mammals, three of which were endemic, and 21 of which were threatened. The smallest mammals are little understood. There are 380 bird species listed, 13 of which are endemic and 52 of which are endangered. The orangutan, Sumatran rhinoceros, and pig-tailed monkey are only a few of the notable species. Rafflesia Arnoldi and Amorphophallus titanium are two important plants. Several significant bird species are the Rueck’s blue flycatcher and the white-winged duck.

However, these lovely creatures are vanishing as their forest homes are quickly being torn down to make room for oil palm plantations or destroyed by commercial or illicit logging.

Poaching is also a serious threat to the island’s endangered species: tigers are hunted for their skins, rhinos are slain for their horns, and orangutans are removed from the wild for the entertainment and tourist sector.

Facts and figures

  • Sumatra is the world’s sixth biggest island, encompassing 470,000 km2.
  • There are over 15,000 recognized plants in Sumatra’s woods; more than 400 new species have been reported since 1995.
  • In the last 22 years, over 12 million hectares of forest in Sumatra have been removed, representing a roughly 50% loss.
  • There are 201 mammal species and 580 bird species on Sumatra.
  • There are fewer than 300 Sumatran rhinos and 400 Sumatran tigers living in the wild, making them critically endangered.
  • The Sumatran elephant is Asia’s smallest elephant.
  • The Sumatran orangutan is less common than the Bornean orangutan.

Abstract

The property is made up of three national parks that feature some of the richest and most diverse surviving rainforests on the planet. They are located in wooded volcanic mountains spanning from coastal lowlands to highlands, with a diverse spectrum of soils, hydrological conditions, and ecosystems ranging from marine to subalpine volcanoes, supporting diverse flora and fauna. They will continue to be key refugia for future evolutionary processes. The location has the best potential for long-term conservation of Sumatra’s unique and diversified biota. The protected region is home to over 200 animal species and 10,000 plant species. 22 of the animal species are Asian and found nowhere else in the archipelago.

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Plants and Animals

World’s Biggest Biome – The Taiga

Introduction

In North America and Eurasia, the taiga is a virtually continuous belt of coniferous trees. The forest is a combination of successional and subclimax plant communities susceptible to varied climatic circumstances that cover historically glaciated terrain and areas of patchy permafrost on both continents. The Russian word for this forest that covers so much of their nation is taiga. The word, however, is also used in North America. The taiga, commonly known as boreal forest or coniferous forest, is the world’s biggest terrestrial biome. Taigas may also be found in the western United States, especially in the alpine areas of the Rocky Mountains and the Sierras. The taiga is the world’s biggest biome. It encompasses around 50 million acres of land or about 17% of the total land area on the planet.

Weather

This region is known for its long, chilly winters and short, moderately moist summers. The taiga has brutally cold temperatures in the winter due to arctic winds. The duration of the day changes according to the season. Because of the tilt of the planet on its axis, winter days are short and summer days are long. During the summer, fire is prevalent in the taiga. Although fires appear to be harmful, they really benefit this ecosystem by clearing out old, unhealthy trees and providing a place for new development. The taiga receives a lot of precipitation, which comes in the form of snow in the winter and rain in the summer. The taiga biome receives 25 – 75 cm of annual precipitation.

Animals

The taiga is home to a diverse range of creatures. All animals must be well-adapted to frigid temperatures. During the cold winter months, birds endemic to the taiga often migrate south. Small creatures, primarily rats, reside near the ground. Many birds of prey, including owls and eagles, hunt these animals from the taiga’s trees.

The moose, the world’s biggest deer, can survive in the frigid taiga. Moose, like other deer, are herbivores. They like aquatic vegetation that thrives in the taiga’s bogs and streams.

The taiga is home to just a few huge predatory creatures. Bears and lynxes are rather prevalent. The world’s biggest cat, the 300-kilogram Siberian tiger, is a taiga species. Siberian tigers can be found in a tiny area of eastern Siberia. They go moose and wild boar hunting

Plants

Plantlife in the taiga is less diverse than in other biomes. The conifer, or cone-bearing tree, is the most prevalent type of tree found in the taiga. The soil of the taiga is thin, acidic, and deficient in nutrients. Because of these conditions, plants in the taiga have different adaptations than plants in the Santa Barbara area. The term “evergreen” refers to a significant adaption of conifers. They don’t have to renew their leaves in the spring since they don’t drop them in the winter.

The needles of conifers are another adaptation to living in the taiga. The frozen winter ground makes it difficult for trees to access water, despite the taiga’s relatively high precipitation. Conifers with thin needles and a waxy covering lose less water through transpiration. The pine needles’ dark tone is also significant. The evergreen, on the other hand, benefits from the dark needles.

Issues

Human development, which diminishes habitat for the plants and animals that dwell there, is one of the concerns that affect the taiga’s health. Predators that harm cattle are killed by humans.

Many of the world’s taigas are what are known as “old-growth woods.” Their huge trees are valuable to the lumber sector. In Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia, old-growth forests have all but vanished, with only a handful remaining in North America. The natural pace of succession is affected by the removal of all huge trees.

Mining and development wastes have the potential to contaminate the land and water. Wind and rain carry these pollutants in, as well as naturally occurring chemicals such as metals and radioactive material. Climate change is a concern as well. Precipitation has risen in high latitude places where the taiga is found across the world. There is insufficient information to establish whether or not modifications have occurred.

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Plants and Animals

The Atlantic Rainforest – Brazil’s Most Threatened Biome

Description

While the Amazon is South America’s largest and most well-known rain forest, another rain forest, the Atlantic Forest, is as vital to nature and humans. The Atlantic Forest South-East Reserves are spread across almost 470,000 hectares in the Brazilian states of Paraná and So Paulo, and constitute one of the biggest and best-preserved domains of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, as well as one of the world’s most endangered biomes. The site’s protected sections are rich in biological diversity and provide a superb example of the development of the last remaining Atlantic Forest remnants in southeastern Brazil.

The region is extraordinarily diverse, with a considerable number of rare and unique species. With its altitudinal gradient extending from mountains to the sea, its estuary, wild rivers, coastal islands, numerous waterfalls, and karst phenomena, the site also has a remarkable aesthetic interest.

History

The Atlantic Rainforest is known to have shrunk to relatively tiny fragmented refugia in highly protected gullies during glacial periods in the Pleistocene, separated by stretches of dry forest or semi-desert known as caatingas. Some maps even claim that the forest persisted in damp pockets far from the shore, where its indigenous rainforest species coexisted with much cooler-climate species. Unlike refugia for tropical rainforests, Atlantic Forest refuges have never been the result of careful identification.

Animals

Around 2,200 species of birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians live in the Atlantic Forest, accounting for 5% of all vertebrates on the planet. This forest is home to approximately 200 bird species that are found nowhere else in the world, as well as 60 percent of all vulnerable animal species in Brazil.

With 77 species and subspecies recognized to date, Brazil is the global leader in primate diversity. There are 26 of them in the Atlantic Forest, with 21 of them being found nowhere else on the planet.

The golden lion tamarin, wooly spider monkey, red-tailed parrot, and maned three-toed sloth are among the most charismatic species found in the Atlantic Forest.

Plants:

This forest is also one of the world’s most diverse natural environments, home to notable animals such as jaguars, sloths, tamarins, and toucans. The Atlantic Forest of Brazil is also home to 20,000 plant species, accounting for 8% of all plant species on the planet. Across fact, researchers from the New York Botanical Garden identified 458 tree species in 2.5 acres in the 1990s, more than double the number of tree species found throughout the whole eastern shore of the United States. New flora and wildlife species are always being found.

The Atlantic Forest’s Forest structure has numerous canopies that sustain a diverse flora mix. This contains a wide range of ferns, mosses, and epiphytes, such as lianas, orchids, and bromeliads.

Facts

  • Only 7% of the 1,000,000km2 of original Atlantic Forest that originally covered Brazil’s coast remains today.

  • In Paraguay, just 13% of the natural forest has left.

  • The Atlantic Forest is home to more than 52 percent of the world’s tree species and 92 percent of the world’s amphibians.

  • There are 6,000 endemic plant species, 263 amphibians, and 160 animals, including 22 primate species.

Is it true that people live in the Atlantic Forest?

The Amazon is thousands of kilometers away from where most Brazilians live, but the Atlantic Forest has been directly in the path of agricultural and urban growth for 500 years, and it currently contains 130 million people.

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Plants and Animals

The Tropical Sinharaja Rain Forest

Description

Sinharaja, in southwest Sri Lanka, is significant because it represents the country’s last substantial sustainable stretch of primary tropical rainforest, which formerly covered the whole island. All of its trees are indigenous to the area, with 64 percent being uncommon. The reserve also houses 23% of Sri Lanka’s unique creatures, including 85 percent of the country’s endemic birds and more than half of the country’s endemic mammals, reptiles, and butterflies.

The Sinharaja Rain Forest is located in the island’s southwestern region and encompasses an area of 11,187 hectares (hectares). The Sinharaja Forest Reserve is bordered on three sides by the island’s three districts: Galle, Matara, and Ratnapura. The Rakwana Massif, with its mountain ranges, is part of Sinharaja’s territory.

Plants & Animals

The forest is home to a diverse range of butterflies, including magnificent blue morphos and bird-wings that flutter over the canopy like windblown paper. Lizards abound, and the area is home to several unique endemics. Because of the dense foliage, sightings of many animals in Sinharaja are always a question of chance. The terrible screaming sounds of male purple-faced leaf monkeys, on the other hand, signal their arrival.

The rufous-bellied eagle, mountain hawk, black, crested serpent, and Rufous-bellied eagle are among the endemic birds found in Sinharaja. Crested goshawks, Sri Lanka spurfowls, Layard’s parakeets, red-faced malkohas, green-billed coucals, Malabar trogons, brown-backed needletails, chestnut-backed owlets, Yellow-fronted barbets, black-crested bulbuls, Yellow-browed bulbuls, spot-winged thrushes, orange-billed babblers, ashy-bre Even in the middle of the day, you could see one of the mixed-species ‘bir” waves,’ which generally include crested drongos, Malabar trogons, red-faced malkohas, blue magpies, and a variety of other species.

Common Factor

Three major characteristics must be present in tropical rain forests. First, there must be plenty of brilliant sunlight; second, there must be a lot of rain, evenly spread throughout the year; and third, there must be a lot of heat. As a result, the area becomes extremely humid. Only Sinharaja and a few other dispersed forest areas with smaller land areas in Sri Lanka’s southern western region meet the aforementioned requirements. There is also a valid reason why Sinharaja is a virgin forest, yet the woods in the north of the island are not. Sri Lanka has been an agricultural country since the 4th century BC, and much of the land in the country’s north-central region, where forest covers presently exist, was under plow until approximately the 10th century AD. Therefore, the age of the forest cover there is just a thousand years or so.

Climate

The northeast monsoon, which occurs from November to January, and the southwest monsoon, which occurs from May to July, both bring rain to the forest. Almost majority of it falls within the isohyets of 3810mm and 5080mm. The average annual rainfall is approximately 2500mm, with no dry spells: even the driest month, February, receives 189mm on average. Temps fluctuate between 19°C and 34°C, with minimal seasonal change but a large diurnal range: temperatures fluctuate between 19°C and 34°C, although the impact is mitigated by the regular rains.

Few Facts About Sinharaja Rain Forest

The creation of the Sinharaja Rain Forest in Sri Lanka and how it came to be are both fascinating topics. At the time, there were three big rainforest regions known as the Amazon, African, and Far Eastern. However, these vast swaths of rainforest dwindled in size and were eventually restricted to smaller places.

  1. The world’s current rain forests are an evolution of older rain forests that date back 150 to 200 million years.

  2. During the Paleosoic era, around 140 million years ago, a portion of territory from the Southern Hemisphere called Gondwana land, which included present-day India and Sri Lanka, began the long process of splitting from the main continent.

  3. Around 55 million years ago, during the Cretaceous period, a geographical mass known as the Decan plate, which divided the Southern hemisphere from Sri Lanka and India, began sliding towards the equator and joined the Northern hemisphere known as Laurussia.
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Plants and Animals

Rainforest Of Xishuangbanna, Asia

Descriptions

The Tropical Rainforest of Xishuangbanna Nature Reserve, located in the Xishuangbanna 3 counties of Jinghong, Mengla, and Menghai in southern Yunnan province, is China’s most preserved tropical rainforest at high latitudes and high altitudes. The Xishuangbanna Rainforest is one of Asia’s biggest jungles. The Xishuangbanna Tropical Rainforest comprises around 2,402 square kilometers (927 square miles). In 1993, UNESCO designated it as an International Man and Biosphere Reserve.

Environment

The primitive forest park in Xishuangbanna offers a unique primeval forest natural environment as well as attractive ethnic customs. There are more than 50 scenic area attractions in the park, including the best-preserved tropical rainforest valleys of the south of the tropic of cancer, the peacock breeding base, the monkey domestication base, large ethnic customs performance field, Aini ethnic stockaded village, Jiulong waterfall, Manshuanglong pagoda, hundreds of meters of granite relief, golden lake legend, ethnic flavor barbecue field, and so on. It was named one of China’s top ten most beautiful forests by the Chinese National Geography magazine.

Plants and Animals

  1. Xishuangbanna is one of the Indo-Burma biodiversity hotspots, with over 5,000 vascular plant species, accounting for 16% of China’s total plant diversity.

  2. Its huge breadth is so diversified that it has been subdivided into several subcategories and encompasses at least eight different types of biological zones.

  3. The forest region here comprises more than 3,500 varieties of flora, including more than 50 unique plant species, as well as animals, including numerous endangered animal species such as Asian elephants, Indo-Chinese tigers, and gibbons.

  4. This rainforest also has a varied species of birds, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians, which account for 36 percent, 21%, and 14% of China’s biodiversity, respectively.

  5. Asian elephants, Indo-Chinese tigers, and green peacocks are among the animals that call the area home.

  6. The tropical rainforest of Xishuangbanna is classified into two vegetation subtypes: tropical seasonal rainforest and tropical montane rainforest.

  7. The tropical montane rainforest is found on mountains over 3,300 feet in elevation.

  8. Cloud forest, often known as montane rainforest, is a kind of cloud forest.

  9. Gujjar shephards are the main users of these woodlands.

Ecosystem

Xishuangbanna’s tropical seasonal rain forest is one of China’s most diverse forest ecosystems. This region is also a biodiversity hotspot for global conservation objectives. In 2007, a 20-hectare patch in a Parashorea Chinensis-dominated forest was developed with the goal of monitoring the long-term ecological dynamics of the forest. In the 20 ha plot, a total of 95498 free-standing stems with DBH 3 1 cm were observed, with 468 species belonging to 213 genera and 70 families, with 336 individuals remaining unidentified.

In terms of phytocoenological characteristics such as vertical stratification, life form spectrum, species richness, and so on, the tropical rainforest in Xishuangbanna is very similar to the typical tropical rainforest in the equatorial region, but it is distinguished by a distinct change in physiognomy between seasons. As it occurs near the tropical rainforest’s latitudinal and altitudinal borders, the flora of the tropical rainforest is endowed with the nature of the northern boundary of SE Asia’s tropical zone and is transitional toward the flora of China’s subtropical forest. The region has lately been opened up to large-scale exploitation, and primary forests, particularly rainforests, have suffered significant degradation.

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Plants and Animals

The Sundarbans – world’s largest mangrove forest

The Sundarbans forest covers approximately 10,000 square kilometers in India and Bangladesh, with India accounting for 40% of the total area. It is home to many rare and globally threatened wildlife species, including the estuarine crocodile (Crocodilus porosus), royal Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris), Water monitor lizard (Varanus salvator), Gangetic dolphin (Platinista gangetica), and olive ridley turtle (Platinista (Lepidochelys olivacea). The Sundarbans Tiger Reserve and the 24 Parganas (South) Forest Division in India are the only mangrove forests in the world where tigers may be found, together with the forest in Bangladesh. The Sundarbans are the world’s biggest continuous mangrove forest.

River channels, canals, and tidal streams, ranging in width from a few meters to five kilometers, encompass almost a third of the entire area of this forest. The Bangladeshi side of the forest is characterized by towering mangroves, with a tropical marine climate that sees a lot of rain during the monsoon season. It’s pleasant and dry during the winter.

Sundarban is also home to the world’s sole tiger population, making it the world’s only mangrove forest with a tiger population. According to the 2004 census, the tiger population in the Indian Sundarban is estimated to be approximately 2,000. There are 58 mammalian species, 55 reptile species, and 248 avian species.

Many unique and internationally vulnerable animal species call it home, including the estuary crocodile (Crocodilus porosus), royal Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris), water monitor lizard (Varanus salvator), Gangetic dolphin (Platinista gangetica), and olive ridley turtle (Lepidochelys olivacea). The forest in India is separated into the Sundarbans Tiger Reserve and the 24 Parganas (South) Forest Division, and it is the only mangrove forest in the world where tigers may be found, together with the forest in Bangladesh. Sharks and rays of six distinct species may be found here.

Quick facts about Sundarban

  1. In 1987, the Sundarbans National Park was declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  2. The Sundarbans Jungle is named after the Sundari mangrove plants.

  3. The Sundarbans Tiger Reserve is home to 400 beautiful and ferocious Royal Bengal Tigers, according to estimates. So, go out of the city jungles and see the only area on Earth with the highest concentration of this enormous cat.

  4. Sundarban is one of South Asia’s poorest and most densely inhabited areas. It has an estimated population of 8 million people.

  5. On the Indian side of this vast mangrove forest, Gosaba is the largest and last inhabited island.

The NGO “Unnayan Onneshon” has completed a decade-long study on the Sundarbans’ forest acreage and density, which found that the number of trees in the forest has been falling substantially. As the forest is lost, the amount of fallow land is growing. Over the previous two decades, the thick forest has practically halved (2000-20). The tree density has thinned out and the forest area has begun to diminish as a result of the massive removal of thick forest in the first decade (2000-10). The growth in fallow areas was slower at first, but during the next decade, it nearly doubled (2010-20). Although trees may be observed in the forest’s surrounding areas, significant portions within it are almost vacant or have few trees.

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Plants and Animals

 World’s Second-Largest Tropical Forest – Congo Rainforest

The Congo Basin is one of the most significant wilderness places on the planet. The Congo Basin, which comprises over 1.2 million square miles of primary rainforest or 500 million acres, is larger than the state of Alaska and is the world’s second-largest tropical forest. The Congo Basin rainforest is critical to global climate regulation. A plan to slow the forest’s degradation is being implemented within it.

The rainforest is vital to global climatic stability and encompasses six nations in central Africa: the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Republic of the Congo, Gabon, and Equatorial Guinea. The Amazon has 519 million hectares (2 million square miles) of primary rainforest. The Congo Rainforest accounts for 18% of the world’s surviving rainforest. Congo Basin forests absorb around 1.2 billion tons of CO2 per year and store one-third more carbon than the Amazon over the same geographical area.

The center region of the Congo basin, known as the cuvette, is a massive depression comprising Quaternary alluvial deposits resting on heavy sediments of continental origin, primarily sands, and sandstones. These underlying sediments generate outcrops on valley floors towards the cuvette’s eastern boundary. The filling of the cuvette, on the other hand, began considerably sooner. Boreholes have indicated that significant sediment has accumulated since the late Precambrian periods (i.e., at least 542 million years ago), resulting from the erosion of formations located surrounding the cuvette’s periphery.

Plants and Animals

The Congo Basin is one of the world’s most biodiverse ecosystems, with 10,000 tropical plants, 30 percent of which are unique to the area. There are also 400 mammal species, 600 tree species, 10,000 animal species, 1,000 bird species, and 700 fish species, as well as endangered animals including forest elephants, chimps, and bonobos. In comparison to the Amazon or Borneo forests, Central African woods have a lower proportion of smaller trees, according to researchers. This is due to elephants and other big herbivores eating on the smaller trees, limiting competition for the enormous trees and keeping their density low. Forests tend to be thicker and smaller in locations where animal populations have decreased owing to hunting.

Some facts about the Congo rainforest

  1. The forest provides food and fuel to 40 million people in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

  2. The average temperature in this jungle is 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius).

  3. Teak trees abound in the Congo’s jungles. Teak wood is really popular.

  4. Some parts of the rainforests are so densely packed that just 1% of sunlight reaches the ground.

  5. Between 1990 and 2000, Central Africa lost 91,000 square kilometers of rainforest to deforestation.

  6. Due to an increase in commercial logging, land removal for agriculture, and other factors, it is becoming a more vulnerable environment.

  7. The Congo River, which runs through the forest, is the world’s second biggest river.

  8. The area’s population grows by 1.7 million people per year, putting a strain on the forest’s resources for food, fuel, and shelter.

Threats

The ability of the rainforest to absorb carbon dioxide is decreasing as a result of climate change. Many native species are threatened by the unsustainable shooting of animals for the commercial bushmeat industry in the Congo Basin. One of the primary drivers of animal decline in the Congo Basin is the commercial bushmeat trade. Every year, about a million tons of bushmeat are consumed in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This profitable industry threatens various species, including monkeys, antelopes, and gorillas. However, because bushmeat is a main source of revenue for households in isolated sections of the forest, fighting the trade offers difficulty.

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