The rainforest soil Shallow and acidic Iron oxides stain the top layers red Infertile One of the poorest in the world Rainfall washes away nutrients Plant and animal remains provide nutrients to vegetation
Rainforests are home for up to½ (50%) or¾ (75%)of all known species of plants?
Rainforests are very old, some almost 100 million years old. About 10,000 years ago the ice caps at the poles spread out in an Ice Age, but the ice didnt reach the Equator so tropical rainforests survived and their plant and animal species continued to evolve when other places on earth had to start growing plants all over again.http://www.kidcyber.com.au/topics/biomerainfor3.htm
How many of the world’s animalspecies are found in rainforests?
Almost half of the world’s animal speciesare found in rainforests. 30 million species of plants and animals live there http://www.ladatco.com/rf-qf.htm#Some Quick Facts
The emergent layer… Tallest trees Up to 60 metres Trunks measure up to 5 metres Supported by buttress roots Broad leaves with thick waxy layers to hold water Eagles, monkeys, butterflies, insect- eating bats and snakes
The canopy layer Beneath the emergents Up to 45 metres Smooth, oval leaves that come to a point (shed rain quickly). They have reflective propertly Filters out 80% of light Stops rain Monkeys, sloths, bats, treefrogs, ants, beetles, parrots, hummingbirds and snakes Thick, woody vines (lianas) Epiphytes grow on the trees: orchids, ferns, mosses, lichens and others.
The understorey layer Gets limited sunlight Trees: Solar-collecting dark green leaves: dwarf palms, acanthus, prayer plant, etc. Plants rely on insects for pollination plants have had to adapt to poor soil with few nutrients: anthurium, caladium, colocasia, philodendron and garden callas Many animals live here: snakes, frogs, parakeets, leopards, jaguars and the largest concentration of insects.
The forest floor Almost no plants grow of 0% light and 100% humidity Mosses, herbs and fungi grow here. covered with a litter of rapidly decomposing vegetation and organisms that break down into usable nutrients Large mammals, such as tapirs, forage for roots and tubers. Insects: termites, cockroaches, beetles, centipedes, millipedes, scorpions and earthworms, along with the fungi, use the organic litter as a source of food.
IMPORTANT TO PLANTS, ANIMALSAND MANKIND… One-fifth of the worlds fresh water is in the Amazon Basin.
Important to plants, animals and mankind…Plants contain substances thatcan be made into MEDICINES
IMPORTANT TO PLANTS, ANIMALSAND MANKIND…Rainforests store huge quantities of carbon, producing much of the world’sOXYGEN
Rainforests REGULATE GLOBAL WEATHERMaintain regular rainfallPrevent FLOODS,DROUGHTS, EROSION
· A single pond in Brazil can contain One tree in Peru had forty-threemore kinds of fish than are found in all different species of ants, which is theof Europes rivers. estimated to be equal to the number of ant species in the British Isles. 30% of all bird species and 90% of all invertebrates are found in the tropical forest.