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Tropical and subtropical dry broadleaf forests

Tropical and Subtropical Dry Forests are found in southern Mexico, southeastern Africa, the Lesser Sundas, central India, Indochina, Madagascar, New Caledonia, eastern Bolivia and central Brazil, the Caribbean, valleys of the northern Andes, and along the coasts of Ecuador and Peru.


Though these forests occur in climates that are warm year-round, and may receive several hundred centimeters or rain per year, they deal with long dry seasons which last several months and vary with geographic location. These seasonal droughts have great impact on all living things in the forest.

Deciduous trees predominate these forests, and during the drought a leafless period occurs, which varies with species type. Because trees lose moisture though their leaves, the shedding of leaves allows trees such as teak and mountain ebony to conserve water during dry periods.

The newly bare trees open up the canopy layer, enabling sunlight to reach ground level and facilitate the growth of thick underbrush. Though less biologically diverse than rainforests, tropical dry forests are still home to a wide variety of wildlife including monkeys, large cats, parrots, various rodents, and ground dwelling birds. Many of these species display extraordinary adaptations to the difficult climate.

The most diverse dry forests in the world occur in southern Mexico and in the Bolivian lowlands. The dry forests of the Pacific Coast of northwestern South America support a wealth of unique species due to their isolation. The subtropical forests of Maputoland-Pondoland in southeastern Africa are diverse and support many endemics. The dry forests of central India and Indochina are notable for their diverse large vertebrate faunas. Dry forests of Madagascar and New Caledonia are also highly distinctive (pronounced endemism and a large number of relictual taxa) for a wide range of taxa and at higher taxonomic levels.

Biodiversity Patterns
Species tend to have wider ranges than moist forest species, although in some regions many species do display highly restricted ranges; most dry forest species are restricted to tropical dry forests, particularly in plants; beta diversity and alpha diversity high but typically lower than adjacent moist forests.

Minimum Requirements
Large natural areas are required to maintain larger predators and other vertebrates; large areas are also needed to buffer sensitive species from hunting pressure; the persistence of riparian forests and water sources is critical for many dry forest species; periodic fires require larger blocks of intact forest to be able to aborb occassional large events.

Sensitivity to Disturbance
Dry forests are highly sensitive to excessive burning and deforestation; overgrazing and exotic species can also quickly alter natural communities; restoration is possible but challenging, particulary if degradation has been intense and persistent.

Indo-Malayan

Southeastern Asia: Indonesia, Malaysia, and Brunei
Southern Asia: Island of Sri Lanka off the coast of India
Southeastern Asia: Vietnam
Southeastern Asia: Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand
Southern Asia: India
Southern Asia: Eastern India
Southern Asia: Central India
Southern Asia: Northwestern India
Southeastern Asia: Central Myanmar (formerly Burma)
Southern Asia: Southern India
Southern Asia: Eastern India
Southeastern Asia: Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam
Central Deccan Plateau dry deciduous forests

Australasia

Southeastern Asia: Islands of Timor and Wetar in I
Southeastern Asia: Island of Sumba in Indonesia
Island of New Caledonia, northeast of Australia
Southeastern Asia: Lesser Sundas Islands, Indonesi

Afrotropical

Southern Africa: Zambia (Angola)
Southern Africa: Northwestern Madagascar
Western Africa: Archipelago off the coast of Senegal

Nearctic

Northwestern Mexico

Neotropical

Southern North America: Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico
Veracruz dry forests
Southwestern Ecuador and Northwestern Peru
Islands of Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean
Southern North America: Southern Mexico
Northern South America: Northern Colombia
Sinaloan dry forests
Sierra de la Laguna dry forests
Puerto Rican dry forests
South America: Colombia
Central America: Panama
Western Peru, in the upper Marañon River
South America: Northwestern corner of Venezuela
Northern South America: Western Colombia
Islands of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean
Northern South America: Northern Venezuela
Island of Jamaica in the Caribbean
Jalisco dry forests
Islands of Socorro, Clarion, San Benedicto, and Roc Partida in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Mexico
Island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean
Western South America: Along the Pacific coast of Ecuador
Island of Cuba in the Caribbean
Central South America: Bolivia into Brazil
Chiapas Depression dry forests
Southern South America: Bolivia, Paraguay, and Argentina
Central America: Patches scattered through Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica
Caribbean Islands: Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, and Cayman Brac
South America: In the Cauca Valley of western Colombia
South America: In the mountain valleys of southern central Bolivia
Southern North America: Southern Mexico
Southern North America: Southern Mexico
Caribbean Islands: Bahamas
Eastern Brazil
Northern South America: Colombia and Venezuela

Oceania

Yap Islands State, Federated States of Micronesia
Western Micronesia: north of Papua New Guinea
Hawaii tropical dry forests
Fiji, in the Pacific Ocean, east of Australia

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