The Tropical Rain Forest Biome

By Lola Velichkovsky

Vitals of the Biome

The tropical rain forest is a thriving environment with very diverse plant and animal life. The temperature ranges from 68 degrees Fahrenheit to 93 degrees Fahrenheit. There is typically over 100 inches of rain per year. Humidity ranges from 77% to 88%. Tropical rain forests are located in the Tropic of Capricorn (right below the equator), or in the Tropic of Cancer ( right above the equator). Tropical rain forests cover less than 6% of the earth's surface. Rain forests can be be found all across Central America, the northern part of South America, Malaysia, Indonesia, mid-western Africa, the east coast of Madagascar, south-east Asia, New Zealand, and the northern coast of Australia.


Climate of Biome

The temperature ranges fro 68 degrees Fahrenheit to 93 degrees Fahrenheit. Average rainfall is over 100 inches per year, and humidity ranges from 77% to 88%. The climate is usually very wet, hence the name rain forest. it is also very warm. the climate virtually stays the same; however, there can be a brief period of less rain, and in monsoon areas, there is an actual dry season. The dry season is associated with winter.


Plant Life

The rain forest has four layers: the forest floor (0 feet off the ground), the understory (0-60 feet of the ground), the canopy (60-130 feet of the ground.), and the emergent layer(130-160 feet off the ground). The trees in the rain forest don't need a thick bark because they don't need protection from freezing temperatures, or loss of water. The trees are evergreen. The tropical rain forest biome has more trees than any other area of the world. The roots of the trees don't go very deep under the ground. Even the tallest trees have long horizontal roots called buttresses. The leaves of the trees tend to be large and long.


Animal Life

The rain forest is plentiful with different species of mammals, amphibians, invertebrates, insects, etc; with new species being discovered all the time! Characteristics of rainforest animals are bright coloration, sharp patterns, diets on heavy fruits, and loud vocalizations. Because the climate doesn't really shift year round, the animals do not need to shed or grow thicker fur throughout different times the year. Most animals have body camouflage which is adapted to where they spend most of their time. They also have certain features, such as long, strong claws, to help them climb trees. One example of cooperation is the acacia ants and the acacia tree. The ants protect the tree from other harmful insects, and the tree provides food and shelter for the ants. Another examples would be the capuchin monkeys and flowering trees. When the monkeys drink nectar from the flowers, they transfer pollen to other flowers like a bee. An example of competition would be plants who compete for sunlight, because the forest is so dense, and monkeys compete for the best trees with the most fruit. Examples of predator/ prey relationships: a boa constrictor feeds of lizzards, an ocelot feeds on agouti, a fruit bat feeds on insects, and a frog feeds on flies.


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Additional Info

Did you know that there are 1,400 plants found exclusively in the rainforest that are potential cures for cancer? And that less then 2% of sunlight reaches the ground?


Ecological Concerns

The most impending threat currently would be the lumber industry and farming. Rainforests have very valuable wood, and since they are typically located in third world countries, many of the citizens work in the tree cutting business. The land in the rainforest is very rich, so many poor farmers clear it away to create farmland. The most endangered species in the rainforest currently in the golden lion tamarind monkey. poison dart frogs are also endangered. Rainforests produce over 40% of the world's oxygen.


References

"Rainforest Biomes." Rainforest Biomes. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Sept. 2013.

"Climate:." Tropical Rain Forest. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Sept. 2013.

Khan, Dr. Sumaiya. Buzzle.com. Buzzle.com, 30 Nov. 2010. Web. 18 Sept. 2013.