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Introduction: Mountain rain forest biotope

Perhaps the first thing you’ll notice on entering the tree fern house is that it’s not as warm and steamy as in some of the other greenhouses here. It’s similarly humid, but distinctly cooler with an average temperature of 15°C. This is the climate of the mountain rain forest.

Mountain rain forests are distinctly different from lowland rain forests in composition. For example, they contain lots of tree ferns, several examples of which you can see in this house. Another feature of the mountain rain forest is, that their trees are covered all over with epiphytes. The enormous diversity of plants and animals that live in the forest canopy makes the mountain rain forests the most species-rich terrestrial ecosystem in the world. Only tropical coral reefs boast a larger number of species.

Unfortunately, most mountain rain forests, which are found near the equator at elevations of 1,200 to 2,500 meters, are even more endangered than lowland rain forests. One major threat is coffee cultivation, which is now practiced worldwide, from Colombia to Vietnam. Vast swathes of these unique, biologically diverse forests are being cut down to plant coffee.



Audio file download
Introduction: Mountain rain forest biotope (MP3, 602 KB)

Audio production and copyright: Soundgarden Audioguidance GmbH
Text: Andreas Gröger, Botanischer Garten München-Nymphenburg