The Tropical Forest

Facts

The tropical rainforest is the home of about over half of the world’s different types of species. These Tropical forests are the “central nervous system of our planet” (“What is a Tropical Forest?”). 7.7 million square miles of the Earth is covered by tropical forests. Despite making up only 13% of the Earth, 50% of the world’s species live there. The largest continuous rainforest is in the Amazon region of South America, ⅔ of which is in Brazil.


The rainforest is currently undergoing severe destruction as a result of many different types of industry and the building of dams. One acre of tropical forest is destroyed per second. One species per year goes extinct, and that rate is expected to increase over the next several years.

Weather in Tropical Forests

Tropical forests are also commonly known as rainforests. This is because they receive an average of 155 inches of rain per year, but some get up to 260 inches! Temperature in tropical forests can reach 93℉ and rarely drop below 68℉. This warm air is a result of tropical forests’ proximity to the equator. These forests are also very humid, ranging from 77-88% humidity. There are dry seasons in tropical forests, but they are very brief.

Adaptations

The tropical plants have made many adaptations to their environment. In tropical forests, there are about 80 inches of rain per year. Because of this, branches have adapted so they don’t get weighed down and break. These adaptations also help them shed water off their leaves. Some tropical trees have leaves that turn with the movement of the sun so they can absorb as much sunlight as possible. Over 2,500 species of vines grow in rainforests. Trees of the same species are mostly always found growing close together.


Tropical forests are home to more species than any other biome. The animals that have advantageous adaptations survive longer and pass their genes on to new generations. Some examples of adaptations are camouflage, if the animal can see in the dark and daytime, and if the animal has poison in them to help protect themselves from predators. In tropical forests, camouflage is used by several species of lizards, such as the Giant Leaf-tailed Gecko and Pygmy Led Chameleon. Poison is used most notably by Poison Dart Frogs, whose bright colors are a signal to predators that they are toxic.

Dominant Vegetation

The dominant vegetation in this biome has a high diversity, with broad leafed trees and abundant epiphytes and vines. For example, Strangler Figs, Kapok, and Rattan Palm are all common plants. These trees and plants provide shelter and food for rainforest animals. They also take part in the gas exchanges which provides much of the world’s oxygen supply.

Abiotic Factors

Some abiotic factors that are in tropical forest are the water, warm climate, sunlight, and soil nutrients. All organisms and populations in the tropical rainforests depend on these abiotic factors. For example, plants depend directly on sunlight and soil nutrients.
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Leslie

Leslie is 16 years old and goes to Morristown High School. She has two older brothers and one younger sister. Leslie enjoys running and singing. When it comes to sports she likes to play mostly all of them, like soccer, basketball, and softball. She also likes learning new interesting and exciting things about the world.


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Cara is 16 years old and in Ms. Colfax and Mr. Weller's biology class. She has a younger brother and sister, who are twins, and a cat named Oreo. Cara participates in colorguard, winterguard, Heritage Club, Kids Helping Kids, and NHS. Her favorite subject is history, but her favorite science class so far is bio.

Bibliography

References

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Commonly Asked Questions and Facts. (n.d.). Retrieved May 12, 2016, from http://www.rainforestfoundation.org/commonly-asked-questions-and-facts/

Heimbuch, J. (2011, August 16). 30 fascinating facts about the boreal forest. Retrieved May 15, 2016, from http://www.treehugger.com/natural-sciences/30-fascinating-facts-about-the-boreal-forest.html

Michael, G. (2001). Rainforest Biomes. Retrieved May 12, 2016, from http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/rainforest.htm

Temperate Deciduous Forest. (n.d.). Retrieved May 15, 2016, from http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Experiments/Biome/biotemperate.php

What is a "mangrove" forest? (n.d.). Retrieved May 16, 2016, from http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/mangroves.html

What is a Tropical Forest? (n.d.). Retrieved May 12, 2016, from http://www.rainforest-alliance.org/kids/facts/tropical-forest