The terms symbiotic and mutualistic have been used interchangeably to describe mycorrhizal associations. Symbiosis was originally used to define both lichens and parasites, but many scientists now use this term to describe beneficial associations only. Fungal symbioses have been defined as ‘all associations where fungi come into contact with living host from which they obtain, in a variety of ways, either metabolites or nutrients’. However, this definition excludes associations of myco-heterotrophic plants that are entirelysupported by a fungus. Only the broadest definition of symbiosis (e.g. ‘living together of two or moreorganisms’) applies universally to mycorrhizal associations.


The term mycorrhiza (meaning fungus-root) was originated by Frank (1885), who was fairly certain that these symbiotic plant-fungus associations were required for the nutrition of both partners. More recently, mycorrhizas have been defined as associations between fungal hyphae and organs of higher plants concerned with absorption of sub stances from the soil. Broader definitions have also been published, but are of little value as they do not exclude pathogenic associations. Mycorrhizas are now considered to differ primarily from other plant-fungus associations because they are intimate associations with a specialised interface whereexchange of materials occurs between living cells.



Most mycorrhizas occur in roots, which evolved to house fungi, but they also occur in the subterranean stems of certain plants and the thallus of bryophytes. Pathogenic associations also involve intimate plant-fungus contact, but differ from mycorrhizas because they lack fungus to plant nutrient transfer, and are highly detrimental to their host plants – resulting in disease symptoms. Pathogenic fungi are typically not specialised for efficient mineral nutrient acquisition from soil. A new, broader definition of mycorrhizas that embraces the full diversity of mycorrhizas while excluding all other plant-fungus associations is presented here.


Definition of Mycorrhiza is a symbiotic association essential for one or both partners, between a fungus (specialised for life in soils and plants) and a root (or other substrate-contacting organ) of a living plant, that is primarily responsible for nutrient transfer. Mycorrhizas occur in a specialised plant organ where intimate contact results from synchronised plant-fungus development.

THE IMPORTANCE OF FUNGI | Fungi play a major role in a number of foods and Some molds produce antibiotics.

The Importance of Fungi. 

Fungi break down complex animal and plant matter into simple compounds. This process of decomposition enriches the soil and makes essential substances available to plants in a form they can use. Through decomposition, fungi also return carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, where green plants reuse it to make food.

Fungi play a major role in a number of foods. 

For example, mushrooms and truffles are considered delicacies by many people. Cheese manufacturers add molds to Camembert and Roquefort cheeses to ripen them and provide their distinctive flavors. Yeasts cause the fermentation that produces alcoholic beverages. In the fermentation process, yeasts break down sugar into carbon dioxide and alcohol. Baker's yeast causes bread to rise by producing carbon dioxide from the carbohydrates in the dough. The carbon dioxide gas bubbles up through the dough and causes it to rise. Someday, yeasts may become an important new source of food. Some people already eat yeasts as a rich source of protein and B vitamins.

Fungsi Pictures

Some molds produce important drugs called antibiotics. 

Antibiotics weaken or destroy bacteria and other organisms that cause disease. Penicillin, the first and most important antibiotic, was discovered in 1928 by Sir Alexander Fleming, a British bacteriologist. Penicillium notatum is one of several green molds that produce penicillin, which physicians use in treating many diseases caused by bacteria.

Penicillin is a powerful drug used to treat infections caused by bacteria. It was the first antibiotic (drug produced by microbes) used successfully to treat serious diseases in human beings. Sir Alexander Fleming, a British scientist, discovered penicillin in 1928. Various forms of the drug, called penicillins, have become widely available for medical use since the mid-1940's. Penicillins have played a major role in treating pneumonia, rheumatic fever, scarlet fever, and other diseases. The development of penicillins had a tremendous impact on medicine and encouraged research that led to the discovery of many other antibiotics.

Tree Damage by Fungi

Some fungi cause great damage. 

Parasitic fungi destroy many crops and other plants. Important parasitic fungi that attack plants include mildews, rusts, and smuts. Others produce diseases in animals and people. Some mushrooms are poisonous and can cause serious illness or death if eaten. Molds spoil many kinds of food. In damp climates, mildews and other fungi can ruin clothing, bookbindings, and other materials. Fungi may also cause wood to decay or rot.

FUNGI DEFINITION | Fungi are organisms that lack chlorophyll.


Definition of Fungi are organisms that lack chlorophyll, the green coloring matter that many plants use to make food. Fungi cannot make their own food. Instead, they absorb food from their surroundings. There are over 70,000 species of fungi. Yeasts and other one-celled fungi are too small to be seen without a microscope. But most types can be seen with the unaided eye. Some of the most common fungi include mildews, molds, mushrooms, and plant rusts.

 Fungi Pictures

Fungi structure : Parts of a fungus. 

Fungi structure Except for yeasts and other one-celled fungi, the main part of a fungus consists of thousands of threadlike cells called hyphae. These tiny, branching cells form a tangled mass called a mycelium. In many kinds of fungi, the mycelium grows beneath the surface of the material on which the organism is feeding. For example, the mycelium of a mushroom often grows just beneath the surface of the soil. The umbrella-shaped growth known as a mushroom is actually the fruiting body of the fungus. The fruiting body produces cells called spores, which develop into new hyphae. Spores are smaller and simpler than the seeds of plants, but both enable an organism to reproduce.

Some bread molds and microscopic species of fungi bear spores in tiny structures called sporangia. In black bread mold, the sporangia form at the tips of upright hyphae called sporangiophores. Other hyphae called stolons spread over the surface of the bread. They are anchored by rhizoids (rootlike structures). Groups of sporangia usually form above the rhizoids.

Fungi Pictures

Fungi characteristics How a fungus lives. 

Fungi characteristics  Fungi live almost everywhere on land and in water. Some fungi are parasites that feed on living plants and animals. Other fungi, called saprophytes, live on decaying matter. Still other fungi live together with other organisms in ways that are mutually beneficial. Such a relationship is called symbiotic. For example, a fungus and an organism called an alga may live together symbiotically to form a lichen. Some fungi also live with the roots of plants in a symbiotic relationship known as a mycorrhiza. The fungus takes carbohydrates from the plant. In return, the fungus helps supply the plant with water and such important minerals as phosphorus, potassium, iron, copper, and zinc. Most species of trees, shrubs, and herbs have mycorrhizal relationships with fungi.

Mycorrhiza is the symbiotic association of the mycelium of certain fungi with the roots of certain higher plants,living in close relationship with the surface cells. Ex. It is possible with many, if not all, species of plant which normally form mycorrhizas in natural conditions to grow them in artificial surroundings without their appropriate fungi.

Fungi cannot produce their own food because they do not contain chlorophyll. They take carbohydrates, proteins, and other nutrients from the animals, plants, or decaying matter on which they live. Fungi discharge chemicals called enzymes into the material on which they feed. The enzymes break down complex carbohydrates and proteins into simple compounds that the hyphae can absorb.

Fungi Pictures

Types of Fungi.

Most kinds of fungi reproduce by forming spores. Some spores are produced by the union of gametes (sex cells). Others, called asexual or imperfect spores, are produced without the union of gametes. Many fungi produce spores both sexually and asexually. Many spores are scattered by the wind, and others are transported by water or by animals. Mushrooms and some other fungi forcefully discharge their spores. A spore that lands in a favorable location germinates (starts to grow) and eventually produces a new mycelium.

Types of Fungi. Yeasts can reproduce by forming spores, but many kinds of yeasts reproduce by budding. When a yeast buds, a bulge forms on the cell. A cell wall grows and separates the bud from the original yeast cell. The bud then develops into a new cell. Budding produces a large number of yeast cells rapidly.


Amazon forest is one of the world's tropical forests in the Americas. Amazon Tropical Rainforest is the largest tropical forest in the world with a measure of 5.2 million km2. Around two-thirds of the Amazon tropical rain forest in Brazil, most of these forests include several countries namely Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia, and Venezuela.

Amazon forest has a variety of flora and fauna as well as have high biodiversitas. The Canopy height measuring between 20-50 m, this is starta trees on top. All Species in the amount of trees per hectare can be found more than 280 species of trees. In addition to a diverse variety of flora are also various special fauna of the Amazon jungle.

In the Amazon jungle there is a large and long river named as forested namely the Amazon River. River of life around a giant snake named "Anaconda Snake" can reach a length of 9 meters. In the cinema shown that these snakes prey on humans by means of wind up helpless prey and swallow it.

ular anakonda

But the more interesting thing in the middle of the Amazon jungle there Xingu tribe who still live without the use of clothing. Although their lives using the technology but the culture and characteristic of this tribe still preserved.

Their day-to-day life are using advanced technology such as television, parabolic, and so forth but still no use clothing as their native culture.

Some read using glasses for blurred vision had begun. This shows that they already know and using equipment such as befits the modern man.

The ceremonies performed XINGU tribe as customs and traditions continue to be preserved and conserved.

suku xingu amazon

Body tribe in the Amazon jungle is tinged with a wide range of traditional tools and materials. According to their body color is a way to give them the differences between animals, that they profess belief.

Young woman with her legs must be marked using the tools and carded to remove the blood.

To reach the location of their residence should use aircraft or even pass the river far enough.
That glimpse XINGU tribe living in the middle of the Amazon tropical rain forest. They still keep their styles and traditions of their lives, as a unique case received much attention various media and is the subject of interest to the tourist.

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The equal chance or null community hypothesis is based on the idea that all species are equivalent in terms of their habitat requirements and growth rates, and therefore that every species has an equal chance of inhabiting openings as they become available in the forest.

Basically this hypothesis suggests that local diversity is based on the number of species contributing seeds in the local area, and that tree replacement occurs via random chance. Recent modelling studies indicate that simple null models of tropical forest communities can retain very high species diversity over long periods of time.

Although species in such a null community eventually go extinct via a ‘random walk’ process, the time to extinction is sufficiently long that speciation may act to add new species to the system. For such a null community to maintain very high levels of diversity, one more kind of process is also generally required : namely "dispersal limitation", which refers to the fact that seeds of a given species do not germinate in all possible sites that could potentially be occupied by that species.

The result of dispersal limitation is that many species fail to encounter one another. If dispersal limitation is sufficiently strong, competitive exclusion can be avoided entirely. Recent studies have shown that the absence of plant species at a given site is in fact commonly due to a lack of seed dispersal rather than their inability to compete in that particular area.

TROPICAL DEFORESTATION | Conservation And Sustainable Management Of Tropical Forests

Greatly refined estimates of tropical deforestation have recently been obtained through analyses of changes in forest cover in satellite images. For example, analyses of Landsat imagery covering the Brazilian Amazon indicated an increase in deforested area of 78.000 km2 in 1978 to 230.000 km2 in 1988, or a loss of approximately 6% of the total forested area. Tropical deforestation rates vary greatly across geographic regions, and have shown marked swings over the last decades. Through the 1980s the highest deforestation rates were observed in southeast Asia, but more recently deforestation has shifted to the neotropics and Africa.

In addition to the outright removal of forest, tropical deforestation also acts to fragment landscapes, a pattern of great conservation concern. Tropical forest fragments offer an insufficient amount of habitat for many larger or wide-ranging species of animals, and forest fragments can be seriously degraded by decreased humidity and high wind exposure near edges.

The internal fragmentation of tropical forests caused by selective logging is also a major concern. Studies suggest that low-intensity logging can allow for recovery of primary forest conditions within a couple of decades; however, heavy logging requires a much longer recovery period, and some highly degraded forests may not be able to approach pre-harvest conditions even after hundreds of years.

In many regions construction of logging roads makes forested areas far more accessible to those interested in further exploitation such as subsistence farmers, hunters and fuelwood gatherers. For example, when a commercial logger leaves the concession, subsistence farmers are able to penetrate deeper into the forest than would have previously been the case. Post-logging forest use is becoming increasingly intense due to high population growth rates in many tropical countries.

One partial answer to these difficulties is development of sustainable forestry practices in combination with improved conservation of remaining tropical forests. "Natural forest management" in which gap phase dynamics is emulated by harvesting has been advocated as a means of mitigating losses of diversity and ecosystem function while allowing continued timber harvests. Alternative harvesting practices, such as planning of harvest areas and skid trails, tree marking and directional felling, can be used to reduce the residual impacts of the harvest. Recent studies suggest that such reduced-impact logging in tropical forests can dramatically reduce post-harvest tree mortality. This results in greater retention of forest biomass, increased long-term value of the forest in terms of timber commodities, and more rapid recovery of pre-harvest forest conditions.


Gap phase dynamics has been hypothesized to play an important role in the maintenance of high diversity in the tropics. When one or a few trees die, an opening in the canopy occurs, resulting in increases in light levels and other plant resources. Seedlings and saplings grow rapidly in gaps, competing for these resources; only one canopy tree ultimately will be able to occupy the space relinquished by the original gap-forming tree.

For gap phase dynamics to contribute to species diversity, one must assume that there are differences in resources (light, nutrients, etc.) associated with different parts of the gap (i.e. gap edge or
centre), and that different species are adapted to these differences. Such a pattern is referred to as "gap partitioning".

Larger gaps are expected to contain greater resource heterogeneity than smaller gaps, and thus should show higher diversity of regenerating trees. This hypothesis was recently tested by Stephen Hubbell and co-workers using data from a 50-ha mapped forest plot on Barro Colorado Island in Panama. Although gap sites were found to have greater species diversity of saplings, this was due entirely to higher stem density in the gap sites. The number of species encountered per stem did not differ between gap and nongap sites. Thus, recent evidence suggests that gap phase dynamics may not be the major mechanism for maintaining diversity in tropical forests. There is, however, clear evidence for important niche differences in tropical trees related to soil types and forest hydrology.

ALTERNATIVE MECHANISMS FOR MAINTAINING DIVERSITY | Equilibrium versus non-equilibrium hypotheses

Although climatic changes in the Pleistocene are clearly relevant to the problem of the origin of tropical diversity, one is still left with the problem of the ‘maintenance’ of diversity: that is, how do so many species manage to coexist, and why do not one or a few species out-compete the others?

Many hypotheses for the maintenance of tropical diversity have been proposed, although researchers have yet to reach a unified conclusion. There are two main lines of thought regarding mechanisms: namely, equilibrium and non-equilibrium hypotheses. According to the equilibrium viewpoint, forests are relatively stable in their species composition such that species are highly adapted to suit the particular environment in which they have evolved. Forest species composition is considered a facet of past and present competition among species.

Equilibrium hypotheses also assume that after some perturbation the forest will return to this pre-defined species composition given adequate time. Non-equilibrium hypotheses, on the other hand, view species as having more generalist tendencies and niche requirements. Non-equilibrium hypotheses assume that species diversity is maintained through disturbance and chance events, and that species composition is in constant flux. According to the non-equilibrium view, species exist in guilds that share similar resource requirements and are more or less interchangeable within the guild.

PLEISTOCENE REFUGIA | another important factor favouring high tropical diversity

Another important factor favouring high tropical diversity is the relative stability of these areas over geological time.

Large expanses of the temperate and boreal zones were covered in ice during the latest glacial maximum, only 10 500 years ago.

Glaciation contributed directly to the extinction of many species at high latitudes, and there has been a much shorter time period over which speciation could potentially occur following glacial retreat.

Tropical forests also experienced climatic changes during the Pleistocene, mainly involving decreased precipitation and changes in sea level. In many tropical regions forests were reduced to small island-like regions called refugia.

These areas now often show particularly high levels of both species diversity and endemism. Examples of important glacial refugia include the foothills and eastern slopes of the Andes, the Choco region of Colombia, and the Mt Cameroon region in Cameroon, West Africa.


Equilibrium hypotheses for the maintenance of tropical diversity generally invoke some form of niche differentiation. This hypothesis is based upon the idea that ecologically similar species are unable to coexist unless they have developed different patterns of habitat distribution and/or resource use. Within this framework, the more specialized the resource requirements of each species are, the more species can be packed into a given habitat. Niche differences among tropical animals are generally related to the type of food resources utilized, or spatial or temporal differences in habitat use.

For example, otherwise ecologically similar animals can differ in terms of height of activity in the canopy, or the time of day they are active. In contrast, all plant species utilize essentially the same set of basic resources, namely: light, water, carbon dioxide, physical space, and nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.

However, plant species can differ in terms of more subtle ecological characteristics, such as the efficiency of resource use, tolerance of physiological stress, or dependence on specific pollinators, seed-dispersers or root symbionts. Many studies of tropical forest trees have emphasized differences in the "regeneration niche", or the resources and conditions required by seedlings and saplings to successfully establish in the forest. An important distinction is made between ‘pioneer’ tree species that can grow rapidly in large canopy openings or cleared areas, and "late-successional" or "primary forest" tree species that can establish under low light conditions in the understorey. Other kinds of niche differences among tropical trees include ‘structural niche’ differences related to the size reached by adult trees, and differences in ‘habitat preference’ related to soil characteristics and hydrology.


The warm, wet, and relatively aseasonal climate of the tropics is apparently more favourable for maintaining higher diversity than anywhere else in the world. But why is this the case? One simple idea is that the high solar energy inputs and productivity of tropical regions result in greater numbers of species that can be supported energetically.

However, it is not entirely clear why a small number, or even one species, could not monopolize most or all of the incoming solar energy. Another idea is that climate stability is the main factor promoting species diversification and coexistence. In the harsher temperate and polar regions, species must be able to tolerate drastic fluctuations in seasonal temperatures. Species occurring in habitats nearer the poles are therefore adapted to a wider range of local environments in order to survive the winter months.

As a consequence, one expects a narrower range of adaptation to environmental conditions and narrower latitudinal and altitudinal distributions in the tropics, a hypothesis sometimes referred to as ‘Rapoport’s rule’. The more limited ranges of species in the tropics may allow for greater ‘species packing’ compared to temperate or boreal regions.

Although this idea has received much research attention, recent analyses give only equivocal support, at best, for Rapoport’s rule. On the other hand, it is clear that the relatively aseasonal nature of tropical rain forests allows for the evolution of highly varied and complex species interactions. This complexity itself contributes to the overall species diversity found in the tropics. For example, "dependent" ecological forms, such as specialist herbivores or predators, only persist in the community if their host species is present.



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Species Richness and Diversity IV is a program where you can use the latest methods to gain insights into your data. SDR gives you a powerful suite of proven methods including some of the most exciting methods in modern ecology. With SDR, you can use all these methods, simply, quickly and easily. With SDR you can explore multiple indices in a fraction of a second, compare the diversity or richness of any two samples, produce high quality graphics and discover patterns in your data. SDR is the tool that unlocks your data

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SPECIES DIVERSITY | Tropical Rain Forests Are More Biologically Diverse

Tropical rain forests are more biologically diverse than any other biome, lying at the extreme of a latitudinal diversity gradient that extends from the poles to the tropics. High species diversity in tropical forests is perhaps most impressively illustrated by the results of surveys of insects obtained using canopy fogging with broad-spectrum insecticides. 

A landmark study by Terry Erwin sampled the canopy of a single Luehea seemannii tree in Panama, finding 163 species of beetles (Coleoptera) co-occurring in this one tree. Through a series of extrapolations (based on estimates of the total number of world tree species and the proportion of insect species comprised of beetles), Erwin estimated that there may be 30 million species of insects occurring in the tropical forests of the world. This figure implies that 495% of the earth’s species remain to be described. 

While more recent sampling efforts have tended to yield lower estimates of tropical insect diversity, there are conservatively between 5 and 10 million species. This quantity is 5-to 10-fold greater than all species described to date. Thus, while tropical forests occupy only 7% of the earth’s land surface they are thought to contain over half of all of the species on the planet. The idea that species diversity of tropical animals (which are mostly insects) is a simple function of the number of plant species also implies that any effort to explain tropical diversity in general must, first and foremost, address the problem of the origin and maintenance of plant diversity.


Tropical forests have played a central role in the conceptual development of biology from the time of the major biological expeditions that began at the close of the eighteenth century.

Alexander Von Humbolt initiated the study of plant ecology on his voyages through South America in the early nineteenth century. While climbing Mount Chimborazo in the Andes, Von Humbolt characterized the vegetation changes with climate as he ascended. These early observations on plant distributions provided the foundation of the field of biogeography. The most significant development in biological thinking inspired by tropical forests was the theory of evolution by natural selection. Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace independently derived this theory as a result of their scientific voyages in the tropics during the mid nineteenth century. Darwin’s inspiration was his exploration of various parts of South America as the naturalist aboard the Beagle beginning in 1831.

Wallace conducted expeditions in both South America (1848–1852) and the Malay Archipelago (1854–1862), where he characterized two sets of fauna distinct to the different parts of the archipelago, a division now known as Wallace’s Line. For both Darwin and Wallace, the high diversity of species in the tropics, and particularly patterns of diversification associated with island groups, allowed an appreciation of evolutionary relationships not apparent in the poorer faunas of the temperate zone. The high diversity of the tropics continues to be an important inspiration and testing ground for ideas in biology, particularly in the fields of ecology and evolutionary biology.


The tall, lush evergreen forests envisioned by most when referring to tropical forests are lowland evergreen rain forests. These forests are characterized by canopies with multiple layers of vegetation and the presence of large canopy emergent trees. Lowland evergreen rain forests generally have very high species diversity, with over 1000 tree species per square kilometre found in the richest forests of Amazonia and southeast Asia. Canopy and emergent trees in lowland evergreen forests often have large spreading crowns with a radius of >20m at maturity, can grow to more than 1min girth, and commonly possess plank-like buttresses important in physical support.


Beneath the upper canopy layer are smaller understorey trees, treelets, and a layer of herbaceous ground vegetation. Cauliflory and ramiflory are especially common among understorey trees in lowland tropical rain forests. One also generally finds abundant lianas; woody climbers that germinate in the understorey, but possess climbing mechanisms (such as tendrils or hooks) that allow them to use free-standing trees as support structures. Lianas that reach the canopy thus remain anchored to the forest floor.

Also common are epiphytes; plants that live on other plants (most often trees), but which at no point in their life history are rooted in the ground. Orchids, ferns and bromeliads provide many examples of tropical epiphytes, which enhance tropical diversity immensely (epiphytes are thought to comprise 10% of all vascular plants). Another group of plants characteristic of tropical forests are hemi-epiphytes, which germinate in the canopy, as do epiphytes, but produce roots that grow down the trunk of the host tree to become rooted in the ground. The most important group of tropical hemi-epiphytes are figs (many species of Ficus), the fruits of which are an important resource for many vertebrate species.


The main types of tropical forest are distinguished by differences in the distribution of rainfall throughout the year, by elevation, and by soil type. Tropical forests that experience ever-wet conditions with no month receiving less than 100mm of precipitation are generally referred to as ‘tropical rain forests’, although a distinction is also sometimes made between tropical ‘moist forests’ and ‘rain forests’ in a strict sense that receive annual rainfall in excess of 4000 mm.

The two other main tropical forest types, ‘tropical dry forests’ and ‘semi-evergreen rain forests’, experience an annual dry period. In tropical dry forests (also called ‘monsoon forests’) the dry period is severe, and during this most trees drop their leaves in order to reduce water loss. In semi-evergreen rain forests the seasonal drought is less extreme, and a leafless period does not occur to the same extent.

Within these broad moisture regimes, tropical forests are subdivided on the basis of elevation and soil type, and corresponding differences in forest structure. The distinguishing structural characteristics include canopy height, crown layering and the presence (or absence) of different climbers and epiphytes. Tree buttressing, crown shape, leaf structure, and position of flower/fruit formation are other important physiognomic descriptors of tropical forests.

On a global basis the most important types of tropical moist forest include lowland evergreen rain forests, upper and lower montane rain forests, heath forests, peat swamp forests, freshwater swamp forests and mangroves.


The Tropical forests exist with some essential facts of geography and climatic systems. By definition, ‘the tropics’ lie between 23o N and 23o S latitude, the area within which the sun lies directly overhead at some point in its seasonal progression.

The flux of solar energy within this region is high, due to the fact that incoming sunlight is projected at a 90o angle to the surface of the earth. This high solar energy flux results in a high rate of water evaporation over the tropical oceans and of evapotranspiration over tropical land surfaces.

The result is a rising column of warm, moist air at tropical latitudes. As this air rises it cools as a result of the gradient in air pressure through the atmosphere (adiabatic cooling). Water condenses out from this air mass, generating rainfall. The air mass ultimately dries out, and is carried poleward from the tropics as a part of wind circulation patterns known as Hadley cells.

At subtropical latitudes near 23–30o N and S, the now-dry air mass descends, creating a region of high pressure that corresponds closely to the world distribution of deserts. As a consequence of these climatic circulation patterns, the earth’s equatorial zone is warm and wet, corresponding to the broad band of tropical forests found along the earth’s equatorial axis.

PEOPLE USE SEEDS | Seeds serve as a major source of food

Seeds serve as a major source of food for millions of people throughout the world. The seeds of cereal grains, including corn, oats, rice, and wheat, are used in making many food products, such as bread, breakfast cereals, and flour. The seeds of plants called legumes, which include beans, peas, and peanuts, are also important sources of nourishment.

Vegetable oils used in cooking are obtained from the seeds of such plants as corn, peanuts, soybeans, and sunflowers. In addition, manufacturers use these oils in making margarine, salad oil, and shortening. Such flavorings and spices as dill, mustard, and pepper are obtained from seeds, and seeds are used in producing beer, coffee, cocoa, and other beverages.

Seeds are also used in the manufacture of many nonfood products. Seed oils are a major ingredient in deter-

gents, soaps, paints, and varnishes. Cornstarch from the endosperm of the corn seed is used in making adhesives, explosives, and other products. Most livestock feed includes the seeds of corn, oats, and other grains. Some seeds, including those of the belladonna and castor-oil plants, provide substances used in medicines.

SEEDS SPROUT | Ripe seeds sprout through a process called germination.

Ripe seeds sprout through a process called germination. After being dispersed, most seeds remain dormant instead of germinating immediately. Dormancy prevents seeds from sprouting when conditions are not favorable for growth. For example, many seeds remain dormant during the cold winter months and germinate after temperatures start to rise in spring.

Seeds can remain dormant for varying periods and still be viable--that is, able to germinate under proper conditions. In general, the period of viability ranges from a few weeks to 50 years. In one case, however, scientists found that dormant 10,000-year-old lotus seeds could germinate when conditions were favorable for growth.

Conditions required for seed germination include abundant water, an adequate supply of oxygen, and proper temperatures. When a seed begins to germinate, it absorbs large amounts of water. The water causes many chemical changes inside the seed. It also causes the seed's internal tissues to swell and break through the seed coat. Water also softens the seed coat so that it breaks apart more easily.

Germinating seeds require an adequate amount of oxygen to support their high rate of respiration. Respiration is the taking in of oxygen and the giving off of carbon dioxide. This process enables a germinating seed to burn food and thus produce energy for growth.

Temperature requirements for germination vary. Species that germinate in summer require higher temperatures than those that germinate in spring. Many seeds require a cold period before they can germinate.

Some kinds of seeds need a certain amount of daylight to germinate. Many seeds will sprout only during the spring, when the number of daylight hours increases. Others sprout only in late summer or early fall, as days shorten.

After the seed coat breaks and germination starts, the part of the embryo below the cotyledon begins to grow down into the soil. This part, called the hypocotyl, develops into the primary root. The developing roots anchor the seedling and absorb minerals and water that the embryo needs for further growth. The upper part of the embryo, called the epicotyl, has a bud called a plumule at its tip. The epicotyl grows longer and pushes the plumule upward above the ground. The plumule then produces the first leaves.

In the seeds of gymnosperms and certain dicots, the cotyledons are also carried above the ground. They remain on the plant until it has formed new leaves that can manufacture food. The cotyledons of monocots and some other dicots remain below the ground as the plumule emerges.


After seeds have matured, they go through a state of reduced activity called dormancy, when they do not sprout. During dormancy, seeds are dispersed (scattered) from the parent plant. Seed dispersal increases the chances that some of the seeds will fall in areas suitable for growth.

Some kinds of angiosperm seeds are dispersed while still inside the fruit. The fruit later splits apart or disintegrates and releases the seeds. In other flowering plants, the seeds are released from the fruit before dispersal.

Seeds are dispersed in various ways. In some cases, the fruit drops to the ground and the seeds sprout near the parent plant. However, most seeds have features that enable them to be carried long distances by the wind, animals, water, or people.

Many kinds of seeds are especially suited for dispersal by the wind. For example, some fruits and seeds have winglike structures that keep them aloft. They include the fruits of maple trees and the seeds of ash and elm trees. The wind also carries fruits and seeds that have fluffy coverings, such as dandelion fruits and cottonwood and willow seeds.

Animals also play an important role in seed dispersal. Birds and other animals eat brightly colored fruits. However, the seeds are not digested. They are deposited as part of the animal's body waste--sometimes many miles from the parent plant. Animals also disperse seeds by carrying fruits and seeds on their body. The fruits of the beggarstick, needlegrass, and some other plants have spines and barbs that stick to the fur of an animal. Seeds with sticky coats are also transported by sticking to an animal's body.

The seeds of most water plants are dispersed by floating on rivers, streams, and oceans. Coconut trees and some other land plants have seeds that can float. This type of seed is often transported by water.

Some kinds of seeds are dispersed by an explosive action that occurs when the fruit dries and splits apart. The splitting of a fruit can scatter seeds for several feet. The seeds of geraniums, milkweeds, and touch-me-nots are dispersed in this way.

People have brought along supplies of the seeds of various crop plants and ornamental plants when migrating to many parts of the world. People also aid seed dispersal unintentionally by carrying seeds on their shoes and other articles of clothing.


Seed formation results from sexual reproduction, in which a sperm (male sex cell) unites with an egg (female sex cell). The production of sperm and egg cells in seed plants involves a number of complicated steps. First, the male and female reproductive organs of the plant produce microscopic cells called spores. The spores grow into gametophytes, which are actually tiny plants that live within the reproductive organs of the parent plant. The gametophytes produce the sperm and egg cells.

Seed development in angiosperms. The reproductive organs of an angiosperm are in its flowers. The female reproductive organ is called the pistil. The ovary, which contains one or more ovules, forms the round base of the pistil. A tube called the style extends up from the ovary and ends in a flat tip called a stigma. The male reproductive organ is called the stamen. The stamen has an enlarged tip called the anther.

The development of a seed begins with cell divisions in the ovule and in the anther. These cell divisions result in the production of spores. In most plants, one spore in each ovule grows into a microscopic female plant, the megagametophyte. This tiny female plant produces one egg cell. In the anther, the spores grow into microscopic male plants called microgametophytes, or pollen grains. Each pollen grain produces two sperm cells.

For fertilization to occur, a pollen grain must be transferred from the anther to the pistil. This transfer is called pollination. Pollen grains are carried from the anther to the stigma by insects or other animals or by the wind. After the pollen reaches the stigma, the grain produces a long, slender pollen tube. This tube grows down through the style and into the ovule. The two sperm cells travel down the tube to the ovule. There, one sperm cell fertilizes the egg cell, and an embryo starts to form. The other sperm cell joins with two bodies called the polar nuclei, and the endosperm begins to develop. After fertilization, the outer layers of the ovule develop into the seed coat.

Seed development in gymnosperms. The reproductive organs of gymnosperms take many forms. In conifers, these organs are in cones. A conifer has two kinds of cones, female seed cones and male pollen cones. Each scale of a seed cone has two ovules on its upper surface. Cell divisions occur in the ovules, and each ovule produces a spore that grows into a megagametophyte. This tiny female plant produces egg cells. The scales of a pollen cone have structures that undergo cell divisions and produce spores. These spores develop into pollen grains.

The wind carries pollen grains from the pollen cones to the seed cones. The pollen gets stuck to a sticky substance near the ovules and begins to grow pollen tubes. Each pollen grain has two sperm cells. After the pollen reaches an ovule, one of the sperm cells fertilizes the egg cell, forming the embryo. The other sperm cell disintegrates. The megagametophyte becomes the food storage tissue of the seed. The seed coat develops from the outer layers of the ovule.


Seeds consist of three parts: (1) the embryo, (2) the food storage tissue, and (3) the seed coat.

The embryo is the part of the seed from which the mature plant develops. It contains the parts that develop into the primary root, the first root to grow; the stem; and the first leaves of the new plant. The embryo also has one or more specialized leaflike structures called cotyledons. Angiosperms have either one or two cotyledons. Those with one cotyledon are called monocotyledons or monocots. Angiosperms with two cotyledons are called dicotyledons or dicots. Gymnosperms have from two to eight cotyledons.

The cotyledons absorb and digest food from the food storage tissue of the seed. In angiosperm seeds, this tissue is called the endosperm. The cotyledons of some dicotyledon seeds quickly absorb all the food in the endosperm. The cotyledons then store the food that the embryo needs for growth. In gymnosperm seeds, food is stored in tissue called the megagametophyte.

The seed coat covers the embryo and food storage tissue and protects them from injury, insects, and loss of water. Seed coats range from thin, delicate layers of tissue to thick, tough coverings.


Seeds develop from structures called ovules, which are in the flowers or on the cones of a plant. Botanists divide seeds into two main groups, enclosed seeds and naked seeds.

Enclosed seeds are produced by angiosperms. Their ovules are enclosed by an ovary, a structure within the flower. As the seed ripens, the ovary enlarges and forms a fruit, which provides some protection for the developing seed. In some plants, the ovaries develop into fleshy fruits, such as apples and peaches. Other plants, such as peas and poppies, have dry fruits that form pods or capsules. In grain plants, such as corn and wheat, the ovary and ovule join together, forming a hard kernel.

Naked seeds are produced by gymnosperms. The most common type of gymnosperm are the conifers. Conifers produce ovules on the upper surface of the scales that form their cones. Gymnosperms have no ovaries, and so their seeds are not enclosed during development. However, the scales of conifer cones close up together when the seeds are ripening and provide some protection for the seeds.


Impact of Environmental Pollution on living beings the day goes on. Negative impact of adverse health, especially for the human body to cause disease and a wide range of issues.
Both diseases are directly perceived or illness arising from the accumulation of pollutants in the human body.

Burning oil and coal fuels in motor vehicles and industry led to increased levels of CO2 in the air. This gas is also produced from forest fires, which will be assembled in Earth's atmosphere. If there are so many, CO2 gas will prevent the heat reflected from the Earth to the atmosphere so that the heat will be absorbed and reflected back to Earth. As a result, the temperature on Earth is getting warmer. This is called the greenhouse effect (green house effect). In addition to CO2, other gases that cause the greenhouse effect of CFCs from aerosol, as well as methane gas from animal waste decomposition.

The greenhouse effect can cause the temperature to rise globally, or better known as global warming. Due to global warming, global climate patterns changed. Sea level rises, as a result of the melting of ice at the poles so that small islands become submerged. The situation will affect the balance of ecosystems and harm living things, including humans.
Another consequence is the air pollution caused by acid rain. If acid rain occurs continuously, causing soil, lake, or river water into acid. Circumstances that will result in plants and microorganisms that live in them disturbed and die. This of course will affect the balance of ecosystems and human life.

Impact of Environmental Pollution

1. Extinction of Species
Pollutants are very harmful to aquatic biota residing on the mainland as well. Different types of animals were poisoned, then it will die. Various animal species that do not have the same immunity. There are sensitive, some are resistant. Young animals, animals that larvae are sensitive to contaminants. There are animals that can adapt so resistant to pollutants, those that do not. Although animals adapt, to know that the level of animal adaptation has its limits. When the limit is exceeded, the animal will die.

2. Rapid development of the pest
Excessive use of insecticides led to the death of predators. With the extinction of predators so that insect pests will develop quickly and without control.

3. Environmental Balance Disorders
Extinction of certain species can alter the pattern of interactions in an ecosystem. Food chains, food webs and energy flow to be changed. As a result, the balance of disturbed environments. Recycling materials and biogeochemical cycles to be disrupted.

4. Declining Soil Fertility
The use of deadly insecticide soil fauna. It can lower soil fertility. Continuous use of fertilizers can cause soil to become acidic. It also can reduce soil fertility. Likewise, the occurrence of acid rain.

5. Toxicity and Disease
People who eat vegetables, fish, and contaminated food can be poisoned. Some are dead, some liver damage, kidney, cancer, nervous system damage, and even causing defects in their descendants.

6. Biological concentration
The process of increasing the body's levels of pollutants through biological beings known as the concentration (in English known as biomagnificition).

7. The formation of Ozone Hole and the Greenhouse Effect
The formation of the ozone hole and the greenhouse effect is a global problem that is felt by all humanity. This is because contaminants can spread and have an impact elsewhere.

WHAT IS THE SAVANNA | Savanna is a grassland with widely scattered trees and shrubs.

Savanna is a grassland with widely scattered trees and shrubs. Most savannas are in the tropics and lie between deserts and rain forests. Certain grasslands in temperate areas are also sometimes called savannas. This article discusses tropical savannas. For information about other savannas.

Savannas cover more than two-fifths of Africa and large areas of Australia, India, and South America. They occur in regions that have both rainy and dry seasons.

Most savannas receive from 30 to 40 inches (76 to 100 centimeters) of rain annually. But some get as little as 10 inches (25 centimeters) of rain, and others get as much as 60 inches (150 centimeters). Grasses on the driest savannas, where trees are widely scattered, grow only a few inches high. On more humid savannas, grasses grow several feet tall, and trees are more abundant. Grasses on the wettest savannas may reach heights of 10 feet (3 meters) or more.

Most savanna grasses grow in clumps and do not form a continuous cover of sod. Other nonwoody plants, including members of the composite and legume families, grow among the grasses. Acacias, baobabs, and palms are some common savanna trees.

The growth of trees on savannas is limited by the dry season, which may last up to five months. When the dry season begins, grasses stop growing and turn brown, and most trees shed their leaves. Only the most drought-resistant trees can survive. During the dry season, frequent brush fires destroy many young trees. Grasses have extensive root systems that survive the fires and send up fresh shoots as soon as the rains return. On some savannas, poor drainage and other soil conditions also favor the growth of grasses instead of trees.

A wide variety of animals live on savannas. Large herds of antelope and zebras graze on the African savannas. Cheetahs, hyenas, lions, and other meat-eaters prey on these animals. Many rodents, birds, reptiles, and insects also inhabit savannas.

WHAT IS THE TROPICS | Tropics Are The Regions Of The Earth

Tropics are the regions of the earth that lie within about 1,600 miles (2,570 kilometers) north and 1,600 miles south of the equator. Two imaginary lines, the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, form the boundaries of the tropics. The Tropic of Cancer is 23° 27' north of the equator, and the Tropic of Capricorn is 23° 27' south of the equator. These lines mark the northernmost and southernmost places on the earth where the sun ever shines directly overhead.

Most places in the tropics have warm to hot temperatures the year around. Tropical places near sea level are hot because every day the sun's rays shine almost straight down at noon. Such direct rays produce higher temperatures than do slanted rays.

The temperature does not change much in the tropics because the amount of daylight differs little from season to season. At the equator, the sun shines about 12 hours a day. At the edges of the tropics, daylight varies from about 101/2 hours a day in winter to about 131/2 hours a day in summer. Places at the edges of the tropics have cool periods in winter. Tropical places that are located at high altitudes are cool because the temperature drops about 31/2 °F per 1,000 feet (2 °C per 300 meters) of elevation.

Many tropical areas have definite rainy and dry seasons. Most places near the equator get much rain during all seasons and are covered by tropical rain forests. Farther to the north and south, one or two short dry seasons occur yearly. Such areas have forests of trees that lose their leaves during these dry seasons. Areas even farther from the equator have one long dry season each year. These areas are covered by savannas (grasslands with scattered trees and shrubs).


Clay is a substance present in most kinds of soil. Geologists define clay as extremely small particles of soil that measure less than 4 microns, or 0.000157 inch, in diameter. The word clay also refers to earthy material composed of certain kinds of silicate minerals that have been broken down by weathering.

Clay consists mainly of tiny, sheetlike particles of alumina and silica bound together by water. Various other materials in clay may give it different colors. For example, iron oxide may color clay red. Clays that contain various amounts of carbon compounds may be different shades of gray.

The clay in soil has a vital role in farming. For example, it absorbs ammonia and other gases needed for plant growth. Clay also helps soil retain minerals necessary for plant growth. Without clay, soil would not keep its fertility from year to year. However, too much clay makes soil stiff and heavy and prevents the movement of air and water through soil.

There are two general types of clay, based on how the substance reacts when mixed with water. Expandable clay swells when water is added to it. Expandable clay can absorb so much water that the clay itself becomes a liquid. Nonexpandable clay becomes soft but not liquid when mixed with water.

The petroleum industry uses expandable clays called bentonites to make drilling mud. The petroleum industry also uses another kind of expandable clay as a chemical agent in the process of oil refining.

Ceramics industries use nonexpandable clay in making bricks, pottery, tile, and many other products. For example, pottery makers mold moist clay into almost any shape and bake it in hot ovens called kilns. Heat removes the water from the clay, which becomes permanently hard and cannot be softened by adding water to it. The whitest kind of clay, kaolin or china clay, is used in making porcelain. The paper industry also uses kaolin, which serves as a filler that adds whiteness and strength to paper. In addition, kaolin gives some kinds of paper a smooth, shiny surface. Fire clay contains a large percentage of silica and can stand high temperatures. It is used in making firebrick and furnace linings.


Soil is essential for the growth of plants, which in turn provide food for animals and human beings. Soil consists chiefly of minerals mixed with organic (plant and animal) matter. Soil forms from rocks and similar materials that are broken up into smaller particles by physical and chemical processes called weathering. The particles become mixed with humus, a substance formed from plant and animal remains. Bacteria in the soil break down the humus into nutrients needed by plants.

The thin layer of fertile soil that covers much of the land was formed by natural processes over thousands of years. But in many areas, careless human practices have destroyed the soil in just a few years.

Rain, wind, and other natural forces gradually wear away the soil. This process, called erosion, normally occurs slowly. But people have greatly increased the rate of soil erosion by removing natural vegetation to clear land for construction projects, mines, or farmland. Plants protect soil from rain and wind. Their roots form an underground network that holds soil in place. Plants also absorb some rain water so that less runs off the land. Thus, fewer soil particles are washed away.

Soil erosion has long been a major conservation problem, especially on croplands. In the United States, soil erosion has severely damaged millions of acres or hectares of land. Much of the soil eroded each year ends up in lakes, streams, and rivers.

Farmers can reduce soil erosion by planting trees and leaving patches of natural vegetation between their fields and on other unplowed areas. The trees serve as windbreaks, and the plant cover slows the runoff of rain water. Many farmers also practice such soil conservation methods as contour plowing, strip cropping, terracing, and minimum tillage.

Contour plowing is practiced on sloping land. Farmers plow across a slope, instead of up and down. The plowed soil forms ridges across the slope. The ridges help slow the flow of rain water.

Strip cropping also helps slow the flow of rain water down a slope. Farmers plant grass, clover, or other close-growing plants in strips between bands of corn, wheat, or other grain crops. Grass and clover hold water and protect the soil better than grain crops do.

Terracing helps prevent soil erosion on hillsides. Farmers build wide, flat rows called terraces on the hillsides. A terraced hillside resembles a large staircase. The terraces hold rain water and so prevent it from washing down the hillside and forming gullies.

Minimum tillage, also called conservation tillage, consists of several methods of reducing the number of times a field must be tilled. Normally, farmers till their fields three or more times each growing season. One form of minimum tillage is called zero-tillage or no-till. After harvesting a crop, farmers leave the residues (remains) from the crop on the field as a covering for the soil, instead of plowing them under. During the next planting, the farmer prepares the seedbed with a device that leaves the residues between the crop rows. Zero-tillage not only provides cover for the soil but also conserves tractor fuel.

Another major conservation problem on farmlands is declining soil fertility, which is caused partly by planting the same crop in a field year after year. Corn, wheat, and other grain crops drain the soil of an essential chemical called nitrogen if they are grown on the same field for several years. Farmers can maintain the fertility of the soil by practicing crop rotation, in which crops are alternated from year to year. The rotation crop is usually a legume, such as alfalfa or soybeans. Unlike corn and wheat, legumes restore nitrogen to the soil.

Some farmers add plant remains or manure (animal wastes) to their fields to enrich the soil. Many use chemical fertilizers for this purpose. However, excessive use of some chemical fertilizers may decrease the ability of bacteria to decay humus and produce nutrients naturally. As a result, the soil may gradually harden and lose much of its ability to absorb rain water. The soil then erodes more easily. In addition, the chemicals from fertilizers may wash out of the soil and enter lakes, streams, and even wells, polluting the water. Excessive use of pesticides causes similar problems.

A common problem on irrigated farmland is the build-up of various chemical salts in the soil. Most irrigation water contains small amounts of these salts. In time, the salts accumulate in the soil and may reduce plant growth and ruin cropland.


The soils of farmlands, grazing lands, and forestlands provide many products and recreational areas. Soil conservationists work to ensure the wise use of these soils.

Wise use of farmlands involves maintaining a high level of nutrients and organic matter in cultivated soils. Farmers add organic matter to the soil by plowing under certain green plants. They also add fertilizers and rotate crops to replace nutrients that leaching and growing plants remove. In addition, farmers plow and plant their fields in ways that control erosion.

Grazing lands that have been overgrazed also suffer from erosion. Overgrazing decreases the amounts of plant life and organic matter in the soil, and the soil erodes easily. Ranchers conserve grazing lands by limiting the time that their herds graze in one area.

Forestlands also must be protected from erosion. In some cases, foresters leave unusable branches and other parts of trees on the forest floor to add organic matter to the soil. They also develop large groups of trees whose roots protect the soil by holding it in place against wind and water erosion.

MANGO TREE is an excellent source of vitamins A and C

Mango (Mangifera sp) is a fruit that grows in tropical regions throughout the world. It serves as the main food of many people in tropical countries and is often called the king of tropical fruits. Mangoes are eaten fresh or are used in making desserts, preserves, and some other foods. The fruit is an excellent source of vitamins A and C.

Most mangoes are kidney-shaped, oval, or round. They vary from about 2 to 10 inches (5 to 25 centimeters) in length and from 2 ounces to 5 pounds (57 grams to 2.3 kilograms) in weight. Mangoes have a smooth, leathery skin that surrounds a juicy, yellow or orange pulp and a hard inner pit. The skin may be green, purple, or various shades of orange, red, or yellow. Many mangoes have tough fibers in their pulp, and some of the fruits have an unpleasant turpentinelike odor. However, mangoes grown commercially have a soft, fiberless pulp and a sweet, spicy taste and odor.

The mango tree is an evergreen that grows about 70 feet (21 meters) tall. It has long, slender leaves and small, pinkish-white flowers. The fruit develops from the ovaries of the blossoms and ripens about five months after the flowers bloom.

Mangoes were first cultivated about 4,000 years ago in India and the Malay Archipelago. In the 1700's and 1800's, European explorers brought mangoes from India to other tropical countries. Today, farmers grow mangoes in Brazil, India, Mexico, and the Philippines. In the United States, mangoes grow in Florida and in Hawaii.


Most of the natural forests in Indonesia, including in tropical rain forests. Tropical rainforests have characteristics that are different from other forests. Indonesia is an archipelago that has over 17,500 islands spread from Sabang to Merauke. Diverse place to grow from forests in Indonesia make Indonesia's tropical forests have a special characteristic of the forest than in the other hemisphere.

Many experts mendiskripsi tropical rainforests as a specific ecosystem, which can only stand firmly with the links between the constituent components as a unified whole. The linkage between the constituent components allows certain forms of forest structure that can provide a specific function as well as economic stability, high biological productivity, hydrological cycles are adequate and others. The reality on the groung, forest type has a very low soil fertility, soil composed of negatively charged clay particles such as kaolinite and illite low.

The condition of forest land also shows the uniqueness and distinctive characteristics. The biological activity of the soil rests on a layer of soil over the top (top soil). The biological activity of these about 80% are in top soil only. The facts indicate that the tropical rainforest ecosystems are fragile ecosystem, because each component can not stand alone. Besides, it was found that some other phenomenon is the existence of high diversity between sites or groups of both the forest and the growth of vegetation (Marsono, 1991).

From these characteristics make tropical forest in Indonesia is very prone to degradation. Tropical forest destruction in Indonesia is estimated at 2 million hectares per year. Tropical forest destruction in Indonesia is caused by various factors both from parties only seek profit alone or from the way management of tropical forests is wrong, because they do not understand about the characteristics of tropical forest itself.

Reduction efforts and prevention of tropical forest destruction in Indonesia is an urgent matter. Otherwise tropical forests will be lost due to logging activities, mining, human settlements, agricultural land clearing, forest fires and conversion to other forms.


Classified Soils in the Tropics According to the USDA Soil Taxonomy, Oxisols are the most abundant soils in the humid and perhumid tropics covering about 35 percent of the land area. Ultisols are the second most abundant, covering an estimated 28 percent of the region. About half of the Ultisols and 60 percent of the Oxisols are located in humid and perhumid tropical Africa and Asia. In tropical Africa, they are abundant in the eastern Congo basin bordering the lake region; in the forested zones of Sierra Leone; in Ivory Coast; in parts of Liberia; and in the forested coastal strip from Ivory Coast to Cameroon.

The Alfisols, which have high to moderate fertility, cover a smaller area of the humid tropics. In west Africa they are found in Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria and Cameroon. They are, however, the most abundant soils in Africa's subhumid and semi-arid zones, covering about one third of these regions. The Alfisols are widely distributed in the subhumid and semi-arid tropical regions of Africa, including large areas in western, eastern, central, and southeastern Africa.

Table. Geographical distribution of soils in the humid and semi-arid tropics
(millions of hectares).
Soil order
Tropical Africa
Tropical Asia
Tropical America
Humid Tropics1)

Semi-arid Tropics2)

1) Data from NAP (1982).
2) Data adapted from Kampen and Burford (1980). Part of the subhumid tropics is included.
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