Included here is the Island of Madagascar in the Indian Ocean.

Madagascan Rainforest

Below an altitude of about 800 m this unique tropical rainforest once extended along the entire east coast of Madagascar. Compared to its counterpart in the Congo Basin the canopy of these forests are generally lower and the foliage is much more coriaceous and xeromorphic. They are extremely species-rich and show great variation in species composition. The upper canopy is mainly characterized by endemic species of the Lauraceae (Anthostema madagascariensis, Ocotia, Ravensara), Monimiaceae (Tambourisa), Proteaceae (Dilobeia), Fabaceae (Dalbergia), Burseraceae (Canarium), Euphorbiaceae, Sapindaceae, Anacardiaceae, Elaeocarpaceae (Echinocarpus), Myrtaceae, Malpighiaceae, Flacourtiaceae, Loganiaceae, Hypericaceae (Mammea, Symphonia) and Ebenaceae (Diospyros). The giant endemic monocot Ravenula madagascariensis (Arecaceae) and several Dracaena species also contribute to the upper canopy. The lower tiers include small trees and shrubs frequently represented by Euphorbiaceae, Rubiaceae, Ochnaceae, Erythroxylaceae, Myrsinaceae, Celastraceae, Violaceae (Rinorea), Flacourtiaceae and Tiliaceae. Characteristic secondary forest species include endemics such as Harungana madagascariensis (Clusiaceae) and Psiadia altissima (Asteraceae), but these areas also comprise many introduced species.


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