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Dry forest: characteristics, flora and fauna

The dry forest, also known as dry forest, xerophytic forest, deciduous forest, tropical dry forest or tropophilic forest, are forests that are found in tropical and subtropical areas of dry climates. It is characterized by its alternation of rainy seasons (being able to receive several centimeters of rain per year) and longer dry seasons, in which they must survive dry seasons that last several months. In this AgroCorrn article we talk about the dry forest: characteristics, flora and fauna .

You may also be interested in: Congo Jungle: characteristics, flora and fauna
  1. The dry forest: general characteristics
  2. Most important characteristics of the dry forest: climate, flora and fauna
  3. Biodiversity in dry forests

The dry forest: general characteristics

We can find this type of jungle in southern Mexico, the lowlands of Bolivia, central Brazil, the Caribbean, the valleys of the northern Andes, the coasts of Ecuador, Peru, Central India, Indochina, New Caledonia, Madagascar. or southeastern Africa. However, the most important and rich in biodiversity are those in Mexico and South America .

This forest must go through long periods without rain each year and that is why deciduous trees predominate, since they conserve water better and resist drought better . In contrast, during this time, sunlight reaches the ground better, so these seasons are good for the forest floor, although they are worse for the trees.

The dry forest (or dry forests) are home to a great variety of wildlife , although it has less biodiversity than other areas of forests and forests on the planet, such as monkeys, various rodents, parrots, felids and various varieties of birds. Many of the species that live here have developed adaptations to the dry climate.

Most important characteristics of the dry forest: climate, flora and fauna

Some of the main characteristics of the dry forest are its climate and the flora and fauna that can be found there:

Tropical dry forest climate

In the tropical dry forest, the average annual temperatures are usually around 25ºC to 30ºC, while in the subtropical forest it is a little lower. In the tropical dry forest, the average rainfall level ranges between 1000 mm and 2000 mm, but during the winter the season is drier. In contrast, the subtropical dry forest experiences lower levels of rainfall, with average levels per year between 500 mm and 1000 mm.

Fauna of the dry forest

Although the fauna usually varies according to the continent, the deer is one of the dominant species in the tropical dry forests. They are large herbivores that feed mainly on the leaves and branches of various trees and shrubs and on significant amounts of grass, fruits, mushrooms or acorns. The deer is a species that has great importance within the food chain of these ecosystems and its disappearance would affect other species of which it is prey, such as pumas .

In addition to deer, in these jungles there are also different species of felids, rodents, monkeys and birds .

Dry forest flora

As we said, a characteristic of this kind of forest is the deciduous trees , as it is an adaptation of the trees to the climate. Many evergreen species even become deciduous in this area.

Since in these habitats, the conditions for growth are not as favorable as in other areas, the crowns of the trees are usually lower compared to other types of forests and less dense trees where droughts are more important and, filtering more sunlight into the soil, allow more growth of seedlings, herbs and shrubs. In addition, the trees have a thicker and rougher bark, with deep roots and more varied leaf shapes, such as compound leaf legumes.

Epiphytic plants such as orchids and bromeliads and plants such as cacti or cacti are abundant , since they can go through long periods of droughts and without receiving precipitation.

Biodiversity in dry forests

The dry forest is the habitat of different species, although in general the diversity of the dry forest is lower than in other types of forests, because there is greater environmental stress due to the succession of dry periods and the plants and animals must face these conditions through various adaptations. Some of these species are temporary, that is, they are migrating animals , such as migratory birds in Central America or India.

These species are characterized by having greater seasonality in their reproductive cycles and migrating to more humid areas during the dry season. Some have short life cycles or remain dormant during drier times.

Furthermore, dry forests are highly sensitive to factors such as excessive burning, deforestation , overgrazing or the introduction of invasive alien species . All these processes have increased in recent times, for which the jungle or dry forest is suffering important consequences.

If you want to read more articles similar to Dry forest: characteristics, flora and fauna , we recommend that you enter our Ecosystems category .

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