Tropical Rainforests are Diverse:
Biodiversity is a term biologists and ecologists use to describe biotic variety - numbers of animal and plant species, the richness of gene pools and living ecosystems. Plants, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, invertebrates, bacteria and fungi live together with non-living elements like soil, water and air to make a functioning ecosystem. A tropical rainforest
is the world's most spectacular example of a living ecosystem and the ultimate in biodiversity.
Just How Diverse are Tropical Rainforests?:
Rainforests have been around a long time. Some existing rainforests have evolved over 65 million years. This time-enhanced stability has allowed these forests greater opportunities for biological perfection. Rainforests harbor the greatest gene pool in the world. The gene is a basic building block of living things and every species is evolved by various combinations of these blocks. The rainforest has nurtured this "pool" to become home for 170,000 of the world's 250,000 known plant species.
Fantastic Rainforest Comparisons:
To comprehend just how marvelous this biodiversity is you have to make a comparison or two:
One study in a Brazilian rainforest found 487 tree species growing on a single hectare (2.5 acres), while the US and Canada combined only have 700 species on millions of acres.
There are approximately 320 butterfly species in all of Europe. Just one park in a Peruvian rainforest, The Manu National Park, has 1300 species.
Top Biodiverse Rainforest Countries:
According to Rhett Butler at Mongabay.com the following countries are home to the most biodiverse tropical rainforests on Earth. Of these seventeen countries, sixteen have tropical rainforests (the United States included because of Hawaii). The countries in order of diversity are:
6. South Africa
10. United States
11. Papua New Guinea
17. the Philippines