Image # 1287
Tropical rainforest understory near the Tonala Road leading to Choco, Ecuador. This area recieves 500 to 700 inches of rain a year. When I visited during the height of the dry season, over an inch of rain fell each day. Tropical rainforests are one of the most biologically diverse and ecologically interlinked habitats on earth, but they are under serious pressure from expanding populations and incompatible land uses. Rainforest soils are notoriously poor in nutrients. When land is cleared, fires are often set to release the nutrients trapped in the biomass of the trees. But because the soil is rapidly depleted of nutrients, most cleared land sustains only a few years of crops.