Why are tropical rain forests such rich habitats for many species of animals?

1 Answer
Mar 21, 2017

This is mainly due to their geographic location and the amount of precipitation they receive.


The high species richness or biodiversity found in tropical rain forests is mainly due to their geographic location and the amount of precipitation they receive.

Tropical rainforests fall along the equator and receive a large amount of precipitation. This area of the globe also receives the most sunlight, which provides energy for plants. Thus, this combination of lots of sunlight and plenty of precipitation creates to create ideal conditions for plants, leading to high primary productivity which effects consumers.

Location of tropical rainforests on the globe:

Biodiversity and species richness are affected by a host of variables and these processes and patterns are not entirely understood. Plants, which are primary producers, can be limited by many things, such as precipitation, sunlight, nitrogen, soil conditions, and etc. In tropical rainforests, these first two variables are abundant.

Tropical rainforests are not the only diverse spaces on the globe. By looking at the maps below, you can see some instances of high biodiversity that do not fall within tropical rainforests. For example, Madagascar has high plant biodiversity along its western edge, but this area is not occupied by tropical rainforests.

Vascular plant diversity (species richness):

Bird biodiversity (species richness):

Mammalian biodiversity (species richness):