The mysterious "cloud forests" of Monteverde, Costa Rica

This rare kind of moist, high-altitude rain forest is characterized by fog and low-lying cloud cover where plants actually grow on top of trees. The technical explanation is that “the combination of altitude, humidity and irregular topography creates a unique environmental situation where the clouds remain low for most of the year, preventing the breakthrough of sunshine, locking in moisture, and creating an atmosphere where plant activity is so high that they actually cover the trees.” The non-technical explanation? Lots of clouds and rain result in every inch of the trees from bark to branch to be covered by things green and growing. These epiphytes, as plants which grow on trees are called (pictured below), cover every branch and limb, creating a dense wonderland of greenery. Fifty percent of all the vegetation in the cloud forest lives on the tops of trees. 

Read more about it in Tripatini member Fyllis Hockman's post
Costa Rica's Monteverde Cloud Forest: A Magical Tourist Destination Which Doesn't Encourage Tourists?




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