Tropical Rainforest vs Deciduous Forest: Difference and Comparison

The main difference between tropical rainforests and deciduous forest is that tropical rainforests receive a lot of rainfall, while deciduous forests do not. Deciduous forests are found in the temperate regions of the world. 

Very high levels of rainfall characterize the tropical rainforest biome. This type of climate is found near the equator. The trees do not shed their leaves throughout the year like they do in deciduous forests.

However, the primary reason for this difference is not related to rainfall but temperature differences.

Key Takeaways

  1. Tropical rainforests are located near the equator with consistently high temperatures and abundant rainfall, while deciduous forests are found in temperate zones with distinct seasonal changes and moderate precipitation.
  2. Tropical rainforests have the highest ecosystem biodiversity, with countless plant and animal species. In contrast, deciduous forests have lower biodiversity but still support a wide range of flora and fauna.
  3. Deciduous forests are characterized by trees that lose their leaves in response to seasonal changes, while tropical rainforests consist mainly of evergreen trees with continuous growth and leaf replacement.

Tropical Rainforest vs Deciduous Forest

Tropical rainforests are characterized by high rainfall and a warm climate. The biodiversity is very high in these forests due to greenery, vegetation, and a variety of trees. Deciduous forests lose their leaves for about six to eight months in the dry season. They have rain from 70 to 200cm.

Tropical Rainforest vs Deciduous Forest
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Tropical rainforests are found in areas with a tropical climate characterized by warm temperatures and a lot of rainfall. These forests are also called tropical moist forests.

Tropical rainforests are located in South and Central America, Africa, Southeast Asia, and Australia. Because of the dense vegetation and layers of trees, these forests have high biodiversity, the number of different species that live there. 

Deciduous forests are forests that lose their leaves every year. While the trees are leafless, the forest floor is still filled with life, including little plant life and animals adapted to the seasonal changes.

The decomposition of plant material and the dropping of small pieces of bark, dead leaves, and twigs enrich the soil and make it fertile.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonTropical RainforestDeciduous Forest
DenseThe density of tropical Rainforest is relatively high.Compared to tropical evergreen forests, tropical deciduous are less dense.
LocationKarnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, and Kerala have the most tropical rainforests. Uttar Pradesh, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, and Madhya Pradesh have the most tropical deciduous forests.
SpeciesEbony, Mahogany, Rosewood, and other tree species may be found in Tropical Rainforest.Teak, Sal, Sandalwood, and other tropical deciduous tree species can be found in deciduous forests.
Found inTropical Rainforest can be found in areas where the annual rainfall exceeds 200 cm.The region has deciduous forests with 70 to 200 cm rainfall.
LeavesThe trees in tropical Rainforest do not all lose their leaves at the same time since there is no specific season for this.During the dry season, deciduous forest trees lose their leaves for around six to eight months.

What is Tropical Rainforest?

A tropical rainforest is a thick, biodiversity-rich forest that receives a lot of rain and is found between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn in the equatorial zone.

These forests are home to many species of animals and plants. Like the desert, they have particular adaptations that help them survive in their habitats. For example, some plants have unique structures on their leaves to collect water from the air.

Tropical rainforest animals include monkeys, apes, tree frogs, and a wide variety of birds.

The World Wildlife Fund has identified two major types of tropical rainforest: the wet evergreen forest, which is found between 10 degrees north and south of the equator, and the seasonal forest, which is located between 10 degrees north and south the Tropic of Cancer or Tropic of Capricorn.

Plants and animals of Tropical rainforests are characterized by broad-leaved evergreen trees that form a dense upper canopy and contain a wide array of lianas, vines, shrubs, and other plant life.

Most tropical rainforest species grow very rapidly and have adaptations for living in periods of drought. This includes deep root systems, thick bark, and narrow leaves.

There are two types of tropical rainforests: primary and secondary rainforests. Primary rainforests have never been disturbed by humans, but secondary rainforests have been affected by human activities such as logging or other development projects.

Because of this, secondary forests contain fewer species than primary forests do.

tropical rainforest

What is Deciduous Forest?

Deciduous forests are found in areas with cold winters and warm summers and distinct differences between the two seasons.

The word “deciduous” means to fall off or shed, and the trees shed their leaves once a year to conserve energy during the winter months when resources are scarcer.

Only certain plants can survive in deciduous forests. These include shrubs, ferns, mosses, lichens, flowers, and many kinds of deciduous trees.

All of these plants have adapted to living in a setting where a limited amount of sunlight penetrates through the canopy due to the shade provided by the large deciduous trees.

The leaves of the plants in the deciduous forest are uniquely adapted in that they can transform from shades of green to reds and oranges as fall approaches.

This color change is due to chemical reactions within the leaf itself. The leaves also develop corky tissue at their base during this time, which severs its connection with the tree so that it can fall off.

These forests can be found across the northern hemisphere, from North America to Europe and Asia.

They grow near the equator or towards its southern end, so they are somewhat limited in their latitude range but expand greatly on either side of the equator in terms of longitude.

deciduous forest 1

Main Differences Between Tropical Rainforests and Deciduous Forest 

  1. Tropical Rainforest have a high density; however tropical deciduous forests have a lower density when compared to tropical evergreen forests.
  2. Tropical Rainforest are found in locations with more than 200 cm annual rainfall. On the other hand, tropical deciduous woods cover the region, with annual rainfall ranging from 70 to 200 cm.
  3. Tropical rainforests have a hot climate and a lot of rain all year. Tropical deciduous forest, on the other hand, all occur in Summer, spring, autumn, and winter.
  4. In tropical rainforest, trees do not all lose their leaves at the same time since there is no distinct season for this, whereas deciduous forest trees lose their leaves for about six to eight months during the dry season.
  5. Tropical Rainforest are home to Mahogany, Rosewood, and other tree species, whereas Tropical Deciduous Forests are home to Teak, Sal, and other tree species.
Difference Between Tropical Rainforest and Deciduous Forest
References
  1. https://www.jstor.org/stable/2845604
  2. https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/journal-of-tropical-ecology/article/associations-between-tree-growth-soil-fertility-and-water-availability-at-local-and-regional-scales-in-ghanaian-tropical-rain-forest/E7DC28FF46D17EA4AC41C87CF49B939A

Last Updated : 24 July, 2023

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