Tropical Rainforest and Savanna with their characteristics

len Alfred Ajibola - Wed, 29th May, 2019 @ 16:46: PM

Topics in Biology

Male Reproductive System: External and Internal Male Genitals Male accessory sex organs Food Chain, Food Web and Food Pyramid Skeleton, Type of Skeletal Materials and Differences between Cartilages and Bones Bones - Types of Bone Bones and Type of Bone part 2 Red Blood Cells and Hemoglobin Tropical Rainforest and Savanna with their characteristics Desert and Swamp Forest - Types of Desert, Characteristics of Deserts and Swamps Plant Nutrition and Photosynthesis - Autotrophic mode of Nutrition Amazing facts in Biology Protists - Examples and Characteristics of Protists Reptiles - Characteristics of Reptiles Homeostasis and Negative Feedback Mechanism Arteries, Layers of an Artery and Characteristics of Arterial Disorders Introduction to Biology - Basic Characteristics of Life

Academic Questions in Biology

Please check out our Test Your Knowledge page to see all Questions and Answers

Which of the following is a category of long bones?

  • A. Stunted long bones
  • B. Reduced long bones
  • C. Giant long bones
  • D. Bended long bones
  • E. Curved long bones
  • F. Elongated long bones

The end product of photosynthesis is _____.

  • A. O2
  • B. C​​​​​​2​​​​C5OH
  • C. H2​​​​​O
  • D. CO2
  • E. C6H12O6
  • F. C2H5COOH

The above diagram illustrates a _____.

  • A. Food Chain
  • B. Food Web
  • C. Food Pyramid
  • D. Food Link
  • E. Food Hub
  • F. Food zone

The living cells that makes up cartilages are called _____.

  • A. osteocytes
  • B. osteoblasts
  • C. osteoclasts
  • D. chondroblasts
  • E. chrondocytes
  • F. Osteoprogenitor cells

Which of the following statement is incorrect with regards to chitin?

  • A. Ecdysis is a term associated with chitin
  • B. It is a skeletal material
  • C. It is a type of skeleton
  • D. It is present outside the organism
  • E. It does not grow when the organism grows
  • It is present in ants

Which of the following is NOT a function of the human skeleton?

  • A. Gives Shape
  • B. Provides Protection
  • C. Aids in Locomotion
  • D. Supports Movement
  • E. Assists in Inhalation and Exahalation
  • F. None of the above
  • G. All of the above

Organisms that manufacture their own food through the help of sunlight or chemicals are best referred to as _____.

  • A. autotrophs
  • B. chemosynthetic
  • C. photosynthentic
  • D. chemoautotrophs
  • E. photoautotrophs
  • F. chemoautotrophs

Organisms that begins a food chain and also manufacture their food through photosynthesis are best referred to as _____.

  • A. heterotrophs
  • B. autotrophs
  • C. homotrophs
  • D. producers
  • E. photosynthetic
  • F. chemosynthetic

Tropical Rainforest and Savanna:

The tropical rainforest and savanna are generally considered as major biomes of the world.

A biome, also called a biotic community can be defined as the largest natural community of different organisms interacting and living in the same environment.

As an instance, when you watch the animal documentary program on television, you may be presented with a biome, let’s say savanna.

Within the savanna, you will see grasses, zebras, hyenas, lions and other organisms interacting with each other.

The savanna in this instance (of a biome) is a naturally occurring community and will continue to be so because the environmental temperature within it will likely remain similar throughout the year.

In another animal documentary, you may be presented with an entirely different biome, let's say; the tropical rainforest. Here, you will observe that the living community in the tropical rainforest will be quite different from that of the savanna because they both have an entirely different annual temperature and climate.

Therefore, both the tropical rainforest and savanna are considered to be separate biomes.

Other biomes found on earth include:

  • Deserts
  • Swamp forests
  • Afro-alphines

Please read on Desert and Swamp Forest here.

In this article, we will dwell on the Tropical Rainforest and Savanna.


a. Tropical rainforest

The tropical rainforest is located around the equator. It is present in the following regions:

  • Amazon Basin of South America
  • Coasts of West Africa
  • Zaire Basin of Central Africa
  • Within Malaysia

Below is an image of the Tropical Rainforest:

Tropical Rainforest - Len Academy
Image Credit: Biology Dictionary

Characteristics of Tropical Rainforest

  1. As the name suggests, it rains throughout the year.

    The raining periods have 2 peaks.

    Note: Think of the peak as the times of highest rainfall within a year.

    These 2 peaks within the year (when we have the highest rainfall) are often referred to as the double maxima.

    Please read on Soil Erosion here.

  2. The annual rainfall is over 2000mm.
  3. It’s overall temperature lie between 25oC – 37oC. There is a very brief annual range of temperature within 2oC – 3oC.
  4. The tropical rainforest have a very high relative humidity.
  5. The trees have broad and evergreen leaves.
    Please read on the Characteristics and Differences between Gymnosperms and Angiosperms here.
  6. The trees are heterogeneous. This implies that we have a great variety of trees here.
  7. The trees can be put into different layers, storey or canopies. These are:

    i. Upper Canopy Trees

    ii. Middle Canopy Trees

    iii. Lower Canopy Trees

    iv. Bottom Canopy Trees

  8. Examples of trees found in the tropical rainforest include iroko, obeche, ebony and mahogany. These trees are a major source of hardwood.
    Please read on Hardwood and Softwood here.
  9. Plants such as climbers, creepers and epiphytes are very common in the tropical rainforest.
    Parasitic plants are commonly found here too.

Climbers and Creepers are regarded as plants in need of support as they grow. They will always need to be attached to some form of support while growing. Examples are pea plants and ivy plants.

An epiphyte is a non-parasitic plant that grows on another plant. It is believed to derive its moisture and nutrients from the air, rain, water or from debris accumulating around it.
Epiphytes carry out photosynthesis: (that is; they can manufacture their own food). Examples are moss and orchids.

Please read on Autotrophic Nutrition and Photosynthesis here.

A parasitic plant is a plant that derives some or all of its nutrient from another living plant; and eventually causes harm to it.

Parasitic plants also carry out photosynthesis. (In fact, all plants carry out photosynthesis).
Examples of parasitic plants are Striga and Rhinanthus.

Please read on the Differences between a Plant and a Crop here.


b. Savanna

The savanna is also referred to as grassland because of the abundance of grass in this biome. Trees are relatively scarce in the savanna.

Below is an image of a Grassland:

Savanna | Grassland - Len Academy
Image Credit: Green & Growing

The savanna (grassland) makes up about 20% of the lithosphere.

Think of the lithosphere as the solid part of the earth.

Other parts of the earth are:

Hydrosphere: This is the part of the earth containing water.

Atmosphere: This is the part of the earth containing air.

Please read on Layers and Composition of the Atmosphere here.

Note: The grassland is sometimes considered as the middle line or transitional biome between the rainforest and the desert.

Types of Savanna

The savanna or grassland can be put into two groups. These are:

  1. Tropical Grassland or Savanna
  2. Temperate Grassland or Savanna


Tropical Grassland

It is located between 5o North and 20o South of the equator.

The tropical grassland is found in the following regions:

  • Central America
  • West Africa
  • Northern Australia
  • Some parts of East Africa
  • South East Asia

  • Within Brazil
Characteristics of Tropical Savanna

  1. As the name suggests, it comprises of tall grasses.
  2. The annual temperature range is about 11oC.
  3. The extreme/high temperature ranges from 21oC – 30oC.
  4. The annual rainfall is between 600 – 1500mm.
  5. We also have few short and scattered trees here.
  6. In Africa and Australia, the grasses are called savanna. In Brazil, they are called campos while it's called ilanos in South America.
  7. The seasonal convectional rainfall has a single maximum.
  8. Examples of trees that make up the savanna include acacia, baobab and shea-butter.


Temperate Grassland

They are found in the following regions:

  • North America
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • South Africa
  • Asia
Characteristics of Temperate Grassland

  1. It has a very hot summer (with temperatures above 25oC) and cold winter (with temperatures below 0oC).
  2. The vegetation (grasses) is dependent on the continental climate where the temperate grassland is present.
  3. It has an average rainfall of 510mm.
  4. Heavy rainfall is not usually common here. Instead, the rainfall is light and convectional.
  5. The grasses have a uniform height and are shorter than those of the tropical grassland.
  6. Very few trees are present here.
  7. The grasses are named differently within the various regions where they are found. The names are:

  • The Downs of Australia
  • The Steppe of Central Europe and Russia
  • The Veld of South Africa
  • The Pampas of Argentina
  • The Prairies of North America

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Alfred Ajibola is a Medical Biochemist, a passionate Academician with over 7 years of experience, a Versatile Writer, a Web Developer, a Cisco Certified Network Associate and a Cisco CyberOps Associate.

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