10 Main characteristics of the Amazon Rainforest

The Amazon rainforest is considered the largest tropical forest in the world and contains enormous biodiversity. In addition, it is part of the Amazon biome, the largest of the six Brazilian biomes.

It corresponds to 53% of the remaining tropical forests. Therefore, its conservation is debated internationally due to its size and ecological importance.

Main characteristics of the Amazon Rainforest


The Amazon rainforest is located in the north of South America, covers the states of Amazonas, Acre, Amapá, Rondônia, Pará and Roraima, in addition to smaller proportions in the countries: Peru, Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana.


Because it is located close to the equator, the Amazon rainforest has an equatorial climate. Thus, it is marked by high temperatures and air humidity.

The Amazon rainforest is considered a natural sanctuary

Average annual temperatures range between 22 and 28 °C and air humidity can exceed 80%. Another feature is the high rainfall that varies between 1400 to 3500 mm per year.

In general, the seasons of the year in the forest are distinguished by two periods: dry and rainy.


The soil of the Amazon rainforest is considered poor with a thin layer of nutrients. However, the humus formed by the decomposition of organic matter, that is, leaves, flowers, animals and fruits, is rich in nutrients used for the development of forest species and vegetation.


The Amazon rainforest is a dense tropical forest , formed by large trees.

The vegetation is divided into:

  • Várzea forest: located in low areas, suffers periodic flooding, as the rivers flood. The soils of the várzea are extremely fertile due to the sediments deposited by the waters of the rivers. Some species of the várzea are: andiroba, jatobá, rubber tree and samaúma.
  • Forest of igapó: located in even lower areas, it suffers permanent flooding, for this reason it is always flooded. To survive this condition, plants have different strategies and adaptations. Examples of igapó species are: water lilies, buritis, orchids and bromeliads.
  • Terra firme forest: found in most of the Amazon rainforest, it does not suffer from flooding because it is located in higher areas. The vegetation found is larger, such as chestnut trees.

See also: Brazilian Biomes


In addition to the exuberant flora, the Amazon rainforest is also home to several animal species.

Some animals found are: jaguars, cougars, ocelots, manatees, arapaima, tortoises, giant otters, toucans, macaws, boa constrictors, anaconda.

See also: Animals of the Amazon


The biodiversity of the Amazon rainforest is exuberant and its numbers are impressive:

  • More than 1300 species of birds;
  • More than 3000 species of fish;
  • More than 30,000 species of plants;
  • 1,800 species of butterflies;
  • 427 species of amphibians;
  • 378 species of reptiles;
  • Up to 3,000 species of bees;
  • 311 species of mammals.

It should also be noted that many of these species are endemic, that is, they only exist in the Amazon region. Therefore, forest conservation is extremely important.

Read too:

  • Fauna and Flora
  • equatorial forest
  • amazon basin
  • Economy of the North Region

Environmental threats in the Amazon Rainforest

Many environmental problems affect the Amazon rainforest and the main ones are:

  • Logging
  • fires
  • creation of pastures
  • land dispute
  • human settlements
  • Illegal hunting and fishing

In 1995, it was the year in which the greatest deforestation occurred in the Amazon Rainforest. In Brazil, the state of Pará holds the record for deforestation in the Amazon.

Deforestation advances and threatens the conservation of the Amazon rainforest

Deforestation in the Amazon releases significant amounts of greenhouse gases. Therefore, reducing deforestation is the best action for Brazil to reduce its levels of gas emissions and contribute to reducing the greenhouse effect and, consequently, global warming.

Learn all about Deforestation in the Amazon .

Legal Amazon

Created in 1953, the Legal Amazon is an area that covers nine Brazilian states: Acre, Amapá, Pará, Amazonas, Rondônia, Roraima, Mato Grosso, Tocantins and Maranhão. It comprises about 61% of the entire Brazilian territory.

The purpose of creating the Legal Amazon is to promote economic and social development in the region.

See also: Amazon: characteristics of the biome


On September 5th, “Amazon Day” is celebrated. The date was chosen because the province of Amazonas was created by D.Pedro I on September 5, 1850.

Also learn about the Atlantic Forest , another important tropical forest.


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