Tropical Rainforest and Jungle in Southeast Asia

In the early 1960s, global rainforests spread over 11% of earth’s land mass, nowadays the remaining rainforests alltogether cover some 6 to 7 percent of it. That is a thin belt along the equator, mostly below the 10th degree of latitude. A hundred years or more ago the size of the old forests was much larger. Nevertheless, between 50% to 70% of the known species are living in these richest biotopes. That’s a total amount of estimated 30 million plants and animals. And there are many more who are yet undiscovered.

The last remaining tropical rainforests are located in the Amazon catchment area in South America, the Congo basin in Africa and in parts of Southeast Asia. Since the rainforests of south America (the world’s largest) and the ones in Africa are based on mainland, most of the Southeast Asian rainforests are spread over ten thousands of islands in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines.

It is the year-round warm temperatures, the not much changing climate conditions and the plenty of rain and humidity who keep a stable environment and grant so many different animals and plants a habitate. Evolution had one of it’s best playgrounds in areas like the Malayan rainforest, which is counted as the oldest forest on earth. The Malay peninsula and the great Sunda islands are uninterruptedly forested since more than a hundred million of years already. That’s why so many species could evolve particularly here. Not on chance got Alfred Russel Wallace his igniting idea concerning the theory of evolution, driven by natural selection, in the rich rainforests of Indonesia and Malaysia.

What’s actually the difference between rainforest and jungle? Well, jungle is a more common expression for all wild vegetation which is growing in the tropes and subtropes, including bushes and dense vegetation of all kind. Fast growing green wilderness, so to say. Rainforest means real forest, old trees and it’s a vegetation form which needs ages to develop.


This is only a part of the richly illustrated article ‘Tropical Rainforest and Jungle in Southeast Asia’. Read here the whole article on Tropical Rainforest and Jungle in Southeast Asia.

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Check the list of recently published articles on a great variety of Southeast Asian themes. All of them are richly illustrated: Asienreisender

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