Along the Rivers – The Gallery Forests

Along the Rivers – The Gallery Forests

In this research paper, I have explored the gallery forests by clarifying the concept behind the term “gallery forest”, and studying their biogeography by reviewing some important ecoregions of North America and South America. I have discussed some of the notable gallery forests found in the Americas with respect to their geography, flora, and fauna. It is hoped that this paper will serve the interests of biologists, ecologists, botanists, zoologists, arborists, forest ecologists, biogeologists, biogeographists, and all other people including professionals, students, and laymen eager to learn about the gallery forests.


A gallery forest is a narrow stretch or strip of forest along the banks of a water body, such as a river or stream, flowing through an otherwise open country. In the above context, an open country is defined as a region that is treeless or sparsely covered with trees. A gallery forest is also known as a fringing forest or riparian forest or riverine forest. Such forests are commonly found along the water bodies flowing through the savanna (or savannah) regions. The gallery forests are known to contain different types of woody vegetation. The width of a gallery forest may vary from several miles to complete absence along the same river.
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A Biological Marvel Unleashed

A Biological Marvel Unleashed

A Biological Marvel - Photosynthetic Sea Slug - adidarwinian
A Biological Marvel – Photosynthetic Sea Slug

Note the bright green hue in the photograph.

This Sea Slug is a Biological Marvel — It is both an Animal and a Plant!!

“Elysia chlorotica can make energy containing molecules without having to eat anything.”

“This is the first time that multicellular animals have been able to produce chlorophyll“.

Elysia chlorotica is not an ordinary sea slug (a mollusc). Elysia chlorotica is a photosynthetic sea animal. Like plants, it is capable of converting sunlight into energy.

The photosynthetic ability of Elysia chlorotica is the result of incorporation of algal (Vaucheria litorea) chloroplasts (organelles found in plant cells in which photosynthesis occurs) and chlorophyll producing genes into its molluscan cells. Vaucheria litorea belongs to the yellow-green algae of the class  Xanthophyceae.

These slugs initially got the chlorophyll producing genes from the algae that they had eaten. Present generations of slugs have received these genes from their parent generations, and they are passing them to their daughter generations.

Elysia chlorotica gets its chlorophyll-making genes through genetic inheritance, but still is unable to carry out photosynthesis until it consumes adequate quantity of algae so as to receive necessary chloroplasts, which it is unable to produce by itself.

Photosynthetic Sea Slug - Elysia chlorotica - adidarwinian