What is a rainforest? Woodland characterized by lush vegetation, comparatively high temperature, and rainfall throughout the year. The world’s most biologically diverse ecosystem. Account for less than 7% of the land surface on earth, but contain more than 50% of its plant and animal species.
Emergent Tree – the tallest trees which enjoy unfettered sunlight. Canopy Layer – absorbs as much as 90% of the sunlight, darkening the lower regions. Understory – receives little sunlight, therefore boasts cooler temperature and higher humidity. Forest Floor – home to many of the rainforest’s insects, reptiles, and amphibians.
Rainforests are characterized by the amount of rainfall they receive in a year. Compare the average amount of rainfall in a rainforest to the average amount of rainfall in Sioux Center!
Most plants found in the rainforest are unique to that biome. Many of these plants are eaten by the indigenous people and/or used for medicine. Millions of plant species exist in the rainforest.
In 15 sq km (6 sp mi) of rain forest, as many as 100 different mammal species may be found. Most rainforest animals are nocturnal, sleeping during the heat of the day.
Almost 90% of the rainforest animal species are insects, and of these, most are beetles. Some estimate that as many as 30 million insect species may live in the rainforest.
Indigenous, or native, people have lived in the rainforest for many thousands of years. Much of their food, medicines, and clothing come from the rainforest. Besides hunting, gathering wild fruits and nuts and fishing, they also plant small gardens.