The Tropical Rainforest
By: Lauren Koblitz
Temperature, Location, and Climate
The Tropical Rainforest has a temperature ranging from around 68 degrees fahrenheit to around 93 degrees fahrenheit. It usually stays over 80 degrees, but this can vary. There are no distinctive seasonal changes in the Tropical Rainforest. There are usually over 100 inches of rainfall per year and this causes it to be and extremely wet and humid environment. Tropical Rainforests are mostly located near the equator in Central America, South America, Africa, and Indo-Malaysia.
There is such a wide variety of plants in the Tropical Rainforest! Some of these are Bengal Bamboo, Coconut Trees, Strangler Figs, Bougainvillea, and Ferns. All plants that live in the Tropical Rainforest have ways of adapting to the climate and the things around them, making it a suitable living environment. Bengal Bamboo can survive in a temperature ranging from about 40 degrees fahrenheit to about 100 degrees fahrenheit and does well in very moist environments with lots of rainfall. Coconut Trees live in very warm, moist areas. They need areas with lots of moisture for their roots. In addition, they need full sun exposure and lots of heat. Strangler Figs use its waxy leaves to protect itself from the sun and winds that might dry it out. Bougainvillea is beautiful, majestic plant that prefers to live in tropical climate and can live with a lot of water as long as it doesn't have to hold it for too long. This is not a problem because the Bougainvillea plant has drip tips, which is something to help raindrops run off quickly. Also, it can tolerate semi-shady areas and full sun exposure. Ferns live on the floor of the forest and have adapted to the shady conditions in order to avoid sunlight.
There are billions of species of animals that live in the Tropical Rainforest! Some of these include different types of reptiles, monkeys, insects, birds, bats, tigers, lions, and much more. Like plants, they all have different ways of adapting to the climate. Anacondas and turtles are able to use the wet climate to their advantage because they can swim, which gives them an advantage to some limited resources. Bats are nocturnal, meaning they sleep during the day and are awake during the night. This is useful because they are able to avoid hot temperatures during the day. This biome is well-suited for jaguars because they prefer to have access to water sources and are good swimmers, which helps them prey on animals such as turtles. Capybara are rodents that are found in swamps and have webbed feet to help them swim, making them amazing swimmers. Orangutans like the warm climate and enjoy using all the trees around them to swing from place to place.
Cooperation/Competition and Predator/Prey Relationships
- Different species of plants competing with each other to get to the top of the canopy for sunlight
- Two monkeys competing for the better fruit tree
- A jaguar eating a turtle
- An anaconda eating a bird
- A toucan eating a frog
- A Bengal tiger eating a monkey
Some threats to the tropical rainforests are human population growth and logging. As human population grows in the tropics, many of the Tropical Rainforests are affected because land has to be cleared for things such as sustenance farming. This also causes the soil to lose some of its nutrients. Logging is a huge threat because trees are cut down and used for other things instead of staying where they should be for the living organisms within the biome. In addition, some animals of the rainforest are being captured and domesticated, such as parrots. Some endangered species include the Brown Spider Monkey, the Sumatran Orangutan, the Golden Lion Tamarin, and the Bengal Tiger. The global importance of this biome is huge. It is home to over 50% of the world's animal species. Tropical Rainforests act as heat and water pumps around the world and produce 40% of the Earth's oxygen. Also, many of the plants within the biome are used to make the modern medicines that we use today.
The trees and plants of the forest are so densely packed that rain falling on the canopy can take as long as ten minutes to reach the forest floor!