Rainforests can be tropical (or sub-tropical) and temperate forests.
Tropical rainforests are located in a belt around the equator from the Tropic of Cancer in the north, to the Tropic of Capricorn in the south. Almost half of the remaining tropical rainforest is found in tropical America, a bit more than a third in Asia and Oceania, and fifteen percent in Africa. In total, over 80 countries are considered rainforest owning nations. However, three countries – Brazil, Indonesia and the Democratic Republic of Congo – contain almost half of the world’s tropical rainforests.
The main characteristics of the tropical rainforests are:
1. They are between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn.
2. They receive between 80-400 inches of rain per year (there are only two seasons in a tropical rainforest, the wet season and the dry season).
3. The temperatures range between 70º - 85º F (21.1º - 29.4º C) degrees daily.
4. They support the greatest diversity of living organisms on Earth. (although they cover less than 2% of Earth's surface, rainforests house more than 50% of plants and animals on Earth).
5. They have broadleaf tree species that age to 50-100 years old
Temperate rainforests are mainly found along the Pacific coast of the USA, Canada and Alaska, northern Scandinavia and Siberia. Smaller temperate rainforests can be found on the southeast coast of Chile in South America, Norway, Japan, New Zealand, and southern Australia. They cover less area than tropical rainforests.
The main characteristics of the temperate rainforest are:
1. Located anywhere
2. They receive between 50-140 inches of rain per year.
3. The temperatures range between 50º -80º F (10º - 26.7 ºC) degrees daily.
Sometime the forests between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn are not rainforests. Those forests aren’t as moist and might drop their leaves in dry weather.
4. Temperate rainforests have soil that is richer in nutrients, relatively young and less prone to damage.
5. They have evergreen trees that can be 500-1000 years old.