The Rainforest: More Than an Ecosystem

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An ecosystem is a community of all organisms in a given area, and the physical environment which they interact with. On the land there are terrestrial ecosystems such as forests, grasslands or rain forests; and in the water there are freshwater and marine ecosystems such as lakes and, say, coral reef. The rain forest is an energetic ecosystem. This means that the rain forest vegetation grows quickly and when dead, decomposes extremely quickly. Rain forest biome is very complex. It includes a myriad of different species of plants and animals that are all adapted to rain, and lots of it. There are different levels of plants in the rain forests. The highest are the tall trees that often, particularly in tropical rain forests, form a closed canopy. On the next level are vines, orchids and epiphytes that grow high up in trees to reach more sunlight. Lower down are tree ferns and similar short trees, and next there is the forest floor - dark but far from lifeless. There are usually four layers in the rain forests. The next layer is the canopy. It is the thick layer that catches all the sunlight and leaves only 5% of light for the plants below. Consequently, the next layer - trees like tree ferns, and other shorter trees, are adapted to very little or no sunlight. Finally, the fourth layer the forest floor gets only 2% of sunlight and is not very crowded with plants. Animal life is also complex. Insects are deeming in what is very favorable conditions for them. Frogs and reptiles thrive. Bird life is noisy and colorful with many species of parrots and cockatoos. Since birds live mostly in the rain forest canopy, rain forest snakes are often tree snakes. Many mammals also live up in trees, whether they are herbivores or carnivore... ... middle of paper ... ...es these forests so dense, lush and rich on species. But, tropical rain forests typically get more rain than temperate ones. They grow in low pressure zone along the equator, while temperate rain forests typically grow on coastal mountains, where the mountain ranges bring high rainfall. The rain forest plays an important role in all our lives, and soon it will all come to an end that will affect us all in some way. So to save the rain forest something must be done fast before, the rain forest becomes nothing but a simple myth. Works Cited http://www.ran.org/ran/info_center/index.html http://www.davesite.com/rainforests/review1.shtml http://www.stevensonpress.com/intro.html http://www.ran.org/ran http://www.mtc.com.my/lib/formal/fact4/overview.htm Nichol, John. The Mighty Rainforest. The Netherlands: David and Charles Printing, 1990.

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