Cloud forest

As a cloud forest is referred to a particular forest type found in the tropics and subtropics. It takes its name from the fact that he is almost always shrouded in damp weather in clouds or fog. Sometimes the Spanish term Yungas used.

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The cloud forest is mostly on the eastern slopes of subtropical and tropical mountain ranges, from a height of about 800 m above sea level. NN, where the altitude can vary greatly. Since the winds in this climate zone usually blow from easterly directions ( trade wind ), the clouds accumulate on the mountain slopes and rain out, so that there are significantly more rainfall and a higher degree of cloud cover than in the lowlands in the section there. It can be huge differences between exposed slopes and those in the slipstream. Thus, the amount of precipitation in the Bolivian Yungas lies in the lee of some cases only a tenth of that on exposed slopes. The fauna and flora is very rich and has jungle character. Mountain cloud forests are often characterized by a large proportion of endemic species, but they are also home to many species of the adjacent altitude levels, so that in general a high diversity of species is given. This is often aided by the seclusion of the mountain cloud forests, so that one often finds here relatively undisturbed ecosystems. Characteristic of cloud forests are many epiphytes (mosses, orchids, bromeliads ) and frequently, especially in the upper regions, small gnarled trees growing (see the English name dwarf forest - Dwarf Forest). Cloud forests have it significantly more undergrowth than tropical lowland rain forests, and the herbaceous layer is very strong.


Mountain cloud forests are among the most endangered land ecosystems in the world.


Many cloud forests are important because of their always wet and relatively mild climate, agricultural production areas (coffee, citrus fruits, bananas), for example, in the Yungas of La Paz / Bolivia.


Central America

In Costa Rica in Monteverde Biological Reserve.

In the Mexican state of Veracruz in the region Altas Montañas. Also in the state of Chiapas, there are cloud forests, such as Nature Reserve El Triunfo or the National Park Lagunas de Montebello.

South America

In northwest Argentina and southern Bolivia, located west of the so-called Gran Chaco plains at the edge of Voranden a cloud forest, would collect about 900-1200 mm rainfall in the Chaco plains there are only 600-800 mm. In southern Peru and northern Bolivia, the precipitation in the cloud forest, however, often be in excess of 3000 mm.


In the Philippines, at the Banaue Rice Terraces on Luzon. On the slopes of Mount Kinabalu in Sabah on Borneo.


On the western Canary Islands, for example: In the northeast of Tenerife in the Anaga mountains and La Gomera. On the slopes of Kilimanjaro, Mount Kenya, the Virunga, the Ruwenzori Mountains and, on the border with South Africa, the Cameroon mountain.