Rainforests are characterized by a closed and continuous tree canopy , moisture-dependent vegetation, the presence of epiphytes and lianas and the absence of wildfire. Rainforest can be classified as tropical rainforest or temperate rainforest , but other types have been described. Tropical rainforests have been called the "jewels of the Earth" and the " world's largest pharmacy ", because over one quarter of natural medicines have been discovered there. Rainforests as well as endemic rainforest species are rapidly disappearing due to deforestation , the resulting habitat loss and pollution of the atmosphere.
Rainforests are lush, warm, wet habitats. Trees in the rainforest grow very tall because they have to compete with other plants for sunlight. Kapok trees, which are found in tropical rainforests around the world, can grow to feet. The tallest trees spread their branches and leaves blocking the light from the trees below, and creating a canopy over the forest.
Rainforests of the Atsinanana The Rainforests of the Atsinanana comprise six national parks distributed along the eastern part of the island. Our German mate Andreas who we met yesterday while sheltering from the rain under a petrol station roof had informed us that the road we were on was actually the Ho Chi Minh Highway. Who knew?! The only signs we'd seen said AH17, but in hindsight, maybe they're waiting for the road to be sealed before the revered leaders name will be plastered all over it.