Tropical Rainforest Biome

Learn about the tropical in the TROPICAL RAINFOREST BIOME!

Tropical Rainforest

The tropical rain forest is a forest of tall trees in a region of year-round warmth. An average of 50 to 260 inches (125 to 660 cm.) of rain falls yearly.

Plant Adaptations


The tropical rainforest is hot and it rains a lot, about 80 to 180 inches per year. This abundance of water can cause problems such as promoting the growth of bacteria and fungi which could be harmful to plants. Heavy rainfall also increases the risk of flooding, soil erosion, and rapid leaching of nutrients from the soil (leaching occurs when the minerals and organic nutrients of the soil are "washed" out of the soil by rainfall as the water soaks into the ground). Plants grow rapidly and quickly use up any organic material left from decomposing plants and animals. This results is a soil that is poor. The tropical rainforest is very thick, and not much sunlight is able to penetrate to the forest floor. However, the plants at the top of the rainforest in the canopy, must be able to survive 12 hours of intense sunlight every day of the year. There is a great amount of diversity in plant species in the tropical rainforest.

Tropical Rainforest Plant Adaptations

  • drip tips and waxy surfaces allow water to run off, to discourage growth of bacteria and fungi
  • buttresses and prop and stilt roots help hold up plants in the shallow soil
  • some plants climb on others to reach the sunlight
  • some plants grow on other plants to reach the sunlight
  • flowers on the forest floor are designed to lure animal pollinators since there is relatively no wind on the forest floor to aid in pollination
  • smooth bark and smooth or waxy flowers speed the run off of water
  • plants have shallow roots to help capture nutrients from the top level of soil.
  • many bromeliads are epiphytes (plants that live on other plants); instead of collecting water with roots they collect rainwater into a central reservoir from which they absorb the water through hairs on their leaves
  • epiphytic orchids have aerial roots that cling to the host plant, absorb minerals, and absorb water from the atmosphere

Adaptation Definition

Dictionary.com says that an adaptation is: the state of being adapted; adjustment.

Adaptations are fun to learn about!

Plants have several basic needs for survival. These needs include light, water, air and minerals or nutrients. They also need to be able to reproduce in order to ensure that their species survives. Some of the main threats to the survival of plants include a lack of sunlight, a lack of water, an abundance of water and the activities of animals.
8 Hours Rainforest & Thunder Sounds

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