Tropical Rainforests Area in World

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Tropical rainforests generally manifest in the World's equatorial areas. Tropical forests are limited to the small land area around the latitudes 22. 5° North and 22. 5° South of the equator - around the Tropic of Capricorn and the Tropic of Cancer. Rhett Butler in his superb book, A Place Out of Time, means the areas as the Afrotropical, the Australian, the Indomalayan and the Neotropical rainforest realms.

The Afrotropical Rainforest Realm:
Most of the tropical rainforests of Africa exist in the Congo (Zaire) River Basin. Remnants also exist throughout Western Africa which is in a sorry state due to the plight of poverty which encourages subsistence agriculture and firewood harvesting. This realm is dry and seasonal when compared to the other realms. The outlying portions of this rainforest is steadily becoming desert.

The Indomalayan Rainforest Realm:
Asia's remaining tropical rainforest is in Indonesia (on scattered islands), the Malay peninsula and Laos and Cambodia. Population pressures have dramatically decreased the original forest to scattered fragments. Southeast Asia's rainforests are some of the oldest in the World. Studies have indicated that several have existed for over 100 million years. The Wallace Line separates this realm from the Australian realm.

The Australian Rainforest Realm:
Most of this rainforest is located in New Guinea with a very small portion of the forest in the Northeast of Australia. Actually, the Australian forest has expanded over the last 18,000 years and remains relatively untouched. The Wallace Line separates this realm from the Indomalayan realm. Biogeographer Alfred Wallace marked the channel between Bali and Lombok as the divide between two great zoogeographic regions, the Oriental and Australian.

The Neotropical Rainforest Realm:
The Amazon River Basin covers some 40% of the South American continent and dwarfs all other forests in Central and South America. The Amazon rainforest is roughly the size of the forty-eight contiguous United States. It is the largest continuous rainforest on Earth. Four-fifths of the Amazon is still intact and healthy. Logging is heavy in certain areas but there is still debate over the adverse effects. Oil and gas, cattle and agriculture are major causes of neotropical deforestation.
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Keyword: Afrotropical Rainforest Realm, Indomalayan Rainforest Realm, Australian Rainforest Realm, Neotropical Rainforest Realm, Tropical Rainforests.