Climatic diversity is the most outstanding feature of our natural world. Earth has been divided into almost thirteen natural regions, on the basis of climatic elements. Among all, equatorial natural region is highly important as it shelters most of the biotic world. Heavy annual precipitation and even tempraure helps to grow the world’s greatest forests and rich biodiversity. So, proper understanding about equatorial natural region deserves attention.
Meaning of natural region
Natural region means the average totality of climate, soil, relief, vegetation, and other biotic organisms within a specific geographical area. For example, Savanna tropical grassland, Steppe grassland, monsoonal regions, tundra regions, etc. Generally, these regions display permanent climatic state. Hence, vegetation and organisms adapt themselves according to the climatic conditions. Obviously, any change may prove detrimental for all.
Geographical location of equatorial region
As per the percentage, equatorial natural region only covers six percent of the earth’s surface. But its vegetation is popularly known as the lungs of the earth. Its latitudinal location is around 5 and 10 degrees north and south of the equator. East Asian nations, central east African countries, and South American countries including Brazil and Equator are the part of equatorial belt. Apart from this, some island nations are also experience equatorial climate.
Nature of climate
Uniformity of temperature and torrential downpour especially after noon is the major characteristic feature of this region. Annually, temperature remains above 25 degree Celsius with small diurnal, as well as annual range. Here, an average precipitation is around 160 to 200 cms in a year. Besides, absent of winter season is the most unique feature of this region. Such high temperature with heavy rainfall is utmost important for the luxuriant growth of hardwood diverse species of plants and trees. Understandably, high relative humidity, due to high temperature and rainfall, makes human habitation extremely difficult. However, this is the most favourable condition for the growth of biodiversity.
Vegetation and animals
Tall, diverse hardwood species with outstanding canopy of leaves is the notable feature of this region. Unlike other forests, this equatorial region displays stratified nature of forests with multiple layers due to scarcity of sunshine. The top most layer can grow as much as 40M or around 140 feets. Tentatively, these forests exhibits three distinct layers. Waxy large flat leaves is another conspicuous feature of trees.
Ebony, dyewood, cabinet wood, mahogany, and palm trees are most dominant species along some climbing plants like lianas. As l mentioned earlier that all are hardwood diverse species. Therefore, there is no uniformity in the flowering. This is the reason why these forests have hunters and gathers in the vast numbers.
Occupation and environmental concern
Primarily hunters and gathers are the major tribes which thrive on the forest products since many centuries. Sometimes, nomadic activities are also noticed in the recent time though there are climatic bottlenecks. Apart from this, shifting cultivation has been practiced in the majority of regions for basic livelihood by certain tribes.
Yam maize, bananas, natural rubber, and cocoa are being cultivated in the east Asian and African nations as a part of subsistence farming. But, now, due to explosion of population, these ecologically rich regions are experiencing huge pressure of exploitation for various purposes. For plantation crops, alternative clearing forest cover as a part of shifting cultivation is taking heavy tolls on these well known lungs of the earth.
Unfortunately, when the entire world is fighting to control growing global warming impacts, the degradation of earth’s vast green layer is nothing less than a warning sign for global community. At the same time, unless we provide an alternative means of survival for these age old forest dwellers, in consistent with theirs way of life, we might not succeed in arresting the ongoing pace of loss of these fragile biotic asset. Corrective measures for bleeding biodiversity