Welcome to the United Nations. New figures, the result of the first comprehensive survey of these rare, romantic and fragile worlds, indicate that cloud forests cover an area of just under , square kilometres, or less than 2. One surprising finding is that, contrary to previous estimates, the majority of these moist humid forests are found in Asia rather than Latin America. Indeed, the report, Cloud Forest Agenda, which is being launched at a meeting of the Convention on Biological Diversity in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, estimates that 60 per cent of cloud forests are found in Asia with around 25 per cent in Latin America and 15 per cent in Africa. The findings underline the vital need for improved monitoring and conservation measures in Asia, including regeneration of damaged and degraded cloud forests, if these precious habitats are to survive the twenty-first century. Priority countries may include Indonesia and Papua New Guinea that have been found to hold considerable amounts of cloud forest.
Cloud forests risk drying out by | News | Eco-Business | Asia Pacific
A cloud forest is subtropical or tropical evergreen montane moist forest with high levels of mist or cloud cover mostly at the canopy level of vegetation. All year cloud forests have almost percent humidity according to the University of Illinois study. In the humid tropics, montane cloud forests are found at an altitude of between and 3, meters, according to a United Nations University report. But there are cloud forests in altitudes of 5, metres, according to a Hydrological Processes study by the Cambridge University. In eastern Panama, cloud forests are at an altitude of meters, and meters on higher mountains in western Panama, according to a study by the American Museum of Natural History.
Mist and Mystery: Famous Cloud Forests Around the World
Researchers warn that within 25 years, global warming driven by ever increasing use of fossil fuels could dry up per cent of the misty mountain forests of Mexico, Puerto Rico, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Peru, simply by dispersing the clouds that keep them ever moist, and rich with plant, insect and bird life. And the reason? And if nations go on burning ever greater quantities of coal, oil and natural gas to power economic growth, then the cloud and frost that keep the equatorial cloud forests unique homes to living things will have gone. Researchers mapped cloud forest across the Western Hemisphere with data collected over the last 60 years and then used climate simulations to see how the habitat would change with time. They found that indeed some regions would become even more immersed in cloud: this however would only add up to perhaps 1 per cent.
A cloud forest , also called a water forest and primas forest , is a generally tropical or subtropical , evergreen, montane , moist forest characterized by a persistent, frequent or seasonal low-level cloud cover, usually at the canopy level, formally described in the International Cloud Atlas as silvagenitus. Mossy forests usually develop on the saddles of mountains, where moisture introduced by settling clouds is more effectively retained. Typically, there is a relatively small band of altitude in which the atmospheric environment is suitable for cloud forest development. This is characterized by persistent fog at the vegetation level, resulting in the reduction of direct sunlight and thus of evapotranspiration. While cloud forest today is the most widely used term, in some regions, these ecosystems or special types of cloud forests are called mossy forest, elfin forest , montane thicket, and dwarf cloud forest.