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Tropical & Subtropical Dry Forest

Tropical and subtropical dry forests can be found in Mexico, south-eastern Africa, India, Indochina, Madagascar, South America, and the Pacific.

The global distribution of tropical and subtropical dry broadleaf forest as determined by Olson et al, 2001

Because of the dry period, a higher proportion of the vegetation are deciduous, where the shedding of leaves allows them to reduce water loss. The loss of leaves also means that, for a period, more sunlight reaches the forest floor, thereby allowing more species to occur lower in the canopy and on the ground. Despite the dry period, tropical and subtropical dry forests still have very high levels of biodiversity.

Tropical and subtropical dry forests are also at risk of deforestation and degradation, and at greater risk of burning due to the drier climates they experience. However, species are better adapted to dry periods than those of moist forest making them more resilient to changes in rainfall patterns such as drought.

Olson, D., Dinerstein, E., Wikramanayake, E., Burgess, N., Powell, G., Underwood, E.,  D'amico, J., Itoua, I., Strand, H., Morrison, J., Loucks, C., Allnutt, T., Ricketts, T., Kura, Y. Lamoreux, J., Wettengel, W., Hedao, P., Kassem, K. (2001) Terrestrial Ecoregions of the World: A New Map of Life on Earth: A new global map of terrestrial ecoregions provides an innovative tool for conserving biodiversity. BioScience 51, 933–938.

Reference and more information

Tropical and Subtropical Dry Forest

Dry rainforest in Carnarvon National Park Queensland - Zoe-Joy Newby

Dry rainforest - Kim Hamilton

Dry rainforest vine thicket in Undara Volcanic National Park, Queensland - Zoe-Joy Newby

Western Sydney dry rainforest - Peter Cuneo

Western Sydney dry rainforest - Peter Cuneo

Western Sydney dry rainforest - Peter Cuneo