Cloud forests often have clouds that rest on the ground. Although they are rare, they have high biodiversity. The western slopes of the volcanic mountains of Central and South America, North and South of the equator, are good places to find cloud forests.
Why It Matters
- Cloud forests are located between 23°N and 25°S of the equator at altitudes of 1600 feet (500 m) to 13,000 feet (4000 m) above sea level.
- Rain falls, but much of the precipitation is by fog drip; fog condenses on tree leaves and falls to the ground.
- Mosses, ferns, orchids and other epiphytes cover every surface.
With the links below, learn more about cloud forests. Then answer the following questions.
- NBC, What is a Cloud Forest? (video): http://www.today.com/video/today/21635663
- United Nations Environment Programme, World Conservation Monitoring Centre, Tropical Montane Cloud Forest (webpage): http://www.unep-wcmc.org/tropical-montane-cloud-forest_229.html
- How do epiphytes live without being rooted in soil?
- How does near-constant cloud cover affect the conditions in the forest?
- What are the characteristics of trees in cloud forests compared with tropical rainforests?
- What are the characteristics of cloud forest soils?
- What are the effects climate change and deforestations are having on the Bellavista Cloud Forest in Columbia?