Tropical Rain Forest

By: Calli Capron

The tropical rainforest is located along the equator and covers 6% of the earth's surface. This biome is wet, humid, and warm due to its location and rainfall. It's abiotic factors consist of the amount of water, sunlight, climate, and rainfall. Tropical rainforests have an average temperature of 68-93 degrees farenheit and an average rainfall of 50-250 inches per year. Rarely, there are short dry seasons and there is little difference between the coldest and warmest months.

Plant Life

More than two-thirds of the Earth's plant population are in tropical rainforests. These plants provide shelter and food for animals. Also, they provide oxygen supply for our planet. The rainforest plants have adapted to a warm, humid climate. Many have drip tips, grooved leaves, and a oily coating to help shed water. Many plants have large leaves to absorb as much sunlight as possible.

1. Lianas are small shrubs that start or thr rainforet floor. They send tendrils to grab the sapling trees. Then, the liana and the tree grow together and reach the canopy for sunlight.

2. The ratten vine has spikes to grab canopy leaves.

3. Bambusa tulda sucks up water from heavy rains to prevent flooding. It grows tall fast.

4. The coconut tree grows near seas so the roots can find moisture.

5. The Kapok tree has large spine to prevent damage and buttresses to stabilize it.

Animal Life

Animals in the rainforest have many adaptations to their surroundings.

1. The toco toucanhas strong claws to grip branches and they have a wide tail to balance on trees.

2. The king cobra has a poison that parlyzes their prey.

3. The dawn bat has a long tongue to get the pollen from flowers. They are also nocturnal.

4. The sloth has long arms and hooked claws to stay in the trees. Sloths have a slow metabolism, so they need little food.

5. The poison arrow frog has bright colors to warn other animals. Animals will know not to eat them.

Competition-

SInce trees shade most of the rainforest floor, plants have to compete for their sunlight. Gorillas and lar gibbom both eat leaves, fruit, and bark, which they have to compete for.

Predators/Preys-

Anteaters consume ants with their long mouths. An anaconda eats a capybara, which is a large rodent. Jaguars often hunt down sloths for their meal. Also, birds eat many types of bugs as their prey. Both species benefit in this situation because the predator gets food and the prey adapts to the predator's hunting.


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Threats to the Tropical Rainforest

The main problem that the rainforests face is the expanding human population. The land is cleared so that new things can be built, which takes away the animal's habitat. The land is also cleared for substenence farming. Many trees are cut down for lumber and that takes away organism's homes. Global and regional climate change can also impact the rainforest. Climate change causes a shifting in rainfall pattern. If we do not reduce the threats, the rainforest will grow smaller, year by year.

Endangered Species

Bengal tigers are one of the many endangered species in the rainforest. In the beginning of the 19th century, there was a population of 50,000 bengal tigers. Now, there are around 4,000 left. Poaching and loss of habitat are reasons for this. Toucans and parrots also are becoming extinct. Many are captured for the commercial pet markert and they also loose their habitat.

Global Importance

Tropical rainforests are very important to our planet. Sources of medicine are found in the rainforest. Many types of popular foods are produced and shipped around the world. The rainforest acts like a waterpump; it releases moister into the air and returns it as rain. The water cycle in interupted when rainforests are cleared. It also prevents flooding.

Fun Fact

Tropical rainforests used to cover 14% of Earth and now only covers 6% due to deforstation.

Sources

1. "Climate in Tropical Rainforests." Think Quest. Think Quest, n.d. Web. 17 Sept.
2013. <http://www.library.thinkquest.org/26634/text/forest/
climate.htm>.

2. "Fun Rainforest Facts for Kids." Sceince Kids. Science Kids, 13 July 2013. Web.
17 Sept. 2013. <http://www.sciencekids.co.nzlsciencefacts/earth/
rainforests.html>.

3. G., Michael. "Tropical Rainforest." Rainforest Biomes. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Sept.
2013. http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/rainforest.htm.

4. "Rainforest Plants." Rainforest Plants. Missouri Botanical Garden, 2002. Web. 17
Sept. 2013. <http://www.mbgnet/sets.rforest/plants/>.
5. Reef, Liza. "Endangered Rain Forest Animals and Plants." Liza's Reef. Liza Reef,
n.d. Web. 11 July 2013. <http://www.lizasreef.com>.