Cloud forest

rainforest occuring at higher elevations and topographic positions, often characterized by fog

A cloud forest or fog forest is a tropical or subtropical, contains mostly evergreen trees, and is high up on a mountain. There is a large amount of water in the air. Cloud forests have cloud cover for much of the year, usually at the same height as the canopy, the place where the trees' branches meet.

Tree ferns in a cloud forest on Mount Kinabalu, Borneo
One of the hanging bridges of the sky walk at the Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve in Costa Rica

Cloud forests often have mosses covering the ground and large plants. such mossy forests usually grow on the saddles of mountains, where the wind cannot blow away moisture from clouds.[1]

Cloud forests grow from 500 to 4000 meters above sea level. Usually, they grow where the fog is right at the level where the plants grow, so there is less sunlight to burn away the mist. Many of the plants take water through fog drip. Fog drip is when water forms drops on tree leaves and then drips onto the ground below.[2]


  1. Clarke C.M. 1997. Nepenthes of Borneo. Natural History Publications (Borneo), Kota Kinabalu, p. 29.
  2. García-Santos G; Marzol M.V. & Aschan G. 2004. Water dynamics in a laurel montane cloud forest in the Garajonay National Park (Canary Islands, Spain). Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. 8, 1065-1075. [1]