Habitat: Tabonuco

Habitat: Tabonuco

Habitat, Resource Requirements

Leave it to my brother to mention the word "poop" in a manuscript. 

The tabonuco tree grows from Puerto Rico south to the island of Grenada and along the South American coast north of the Amazon. It is native to this region. Here is something my Mom told me that is pretty interesting but kind of complicated. I will try my best to explain it to you. 

Most botanists believe that tabonuco is also native to West Africa. Native means the tree has lived in that place forever. At least it has lived there for a long time before people came to the place.

How can the tabonuco be native to both places?  It may have existed millions and millions of years ago. Back then, the continents of Africa and South America were connected. Later, they started to drift apart and take their trees with them. I bet my brother can’t top that! 

Tabonuco trees live best on protected foothills and lower slopes in the forest, below 2,000 feet (about 600 m). They like between 90 and 140 inches (225 to 350 cm) of rainfall a year. They like temperatures around 73 degrees F (28 degrees C). They prefer soils that are moderately to well drained. They do well in the shade. They are the most common type of tree in areas of virgin forest. (Virgin here means forest that hasn’t been touched by humans. It is very tall, and very old.) Tabonuco is not a pioneer species. Since my brother was too lazy to write about that now, I’ll wait until later too.