February Photo Gallery: New Zealand Rainforest
The word “rainforest” often conjures up images of the tropics, but it really refers to a forest that—wait for it—get lots of rain. While the tropical rainforests along the equator are well known, an equally dense jungle of trees and plants occur in some temperate regions. These temperate rainforests tend to be less diverse (fewer kinds of organisms), but can actually have more biomass (more total organisms) than their tropical counterparts.
On the South Island of New Zealand, the rainforests are dominated by beech trees and tree ferns, and has a truly primitive feel. The first time I walked within a New Zealand rainforest, along the Waiau River in Fiordland National Park, I kept looking over my shoulder, waiting for a brontosaurus to come lumbering through the trees. Really.
I found the Nature Guide to the New Zealand Forest to be a nice introduction to the rainforest, and can’t wait to go back.