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Tropical Dry Forest
Global Distribution
South America
Northern Australia
Major Climate Characteristics
• Climate: Seasonal Climate (Wet and Dry
Seasons), but Long Dry Seasons.
• Elevation: 200 - 1000 m above sea level
• Temperature Range: 20 ºC - 30 ºC;
• 24 ºC average
• Precipitation: October - May Peak Seasons
(60-370 mm). Peak Month is January (370 mm
= 14 in.)
A Few Representative Species
• Not as diverse as a Tropical Rainforest
• Deciduous Plants (Let leaves fall in dry
periods. Leaves conserve water which sustain
plants during periods of drought.)
• Monkeys, Deer, Large Cats, Rodents, Ground
Dwelling Birds
Indigenous Peoples
• South America: Columbian and Brazilian
indigenous peoples. Mato Grosso tropical dry
forests (in Brazil) sixteen indigenous tribes
(Auetí, Meináco, Waurá, etc.)
• Pygmy peoples in central Africa (location of
dry forests)
• Adivasi (collective term for indigenous
peoples of India)
• Aborigines in northern Australia
Two Major Human Impacts
• Deforestation (many effects, loss in
biodiversity, contributes to global warming)
• Overgrazing (many effects; leads to soil
erosion which impairs growth)
Solutions (Actual or Proposed)
• Actual
- Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest
Degradation (REDD) (various int’l organizations that
seek to curb deforestation)
• Actual/Proposed
- Improved Farming Methods (Cyclic Agriculture)
• Actual/Proposed
- Assessments of carrying capacities of rangelands to
prevent overgrazing.
Natural Resources
• Relatively High Net Primary Product (NPP)
• 1200 NPP, ranges between Desert (100 NPP)
and Tropical Rainforest (2200 NPP)