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About the Rainforest

 

This rain forest is a complex ecosystem composed of many different natural plants, animals and trees.

 

The true Tropical Rainforest is generally considered to have five main sections or layers that extend extremely high off the ground -as much as 150 feet.

The layers of the rainforest from top to bottom are the Over story which consists of trees that reach over the general canopy. These trees can be as much as 150 feet tall.

The second layer, and the most dense layer is called the canopy. It is here in the canoy that we find the most abundant life. This is layer ranges from 75 to 130 feet in height. the canopy is extremely dense and it blocks much of the sunlight which causes the layers of the rainforest underneath to be sparse. Sunlight is a major growth factor in the rainforest and all plants are in a constant struggle to find light. This is why it grows so high.

The third layer, which is also very dense is called the under story. This is a vast network of branches and leaves that range from 20 to 100 feet in height.

The fourth layer of the rainforest is the bush layer and this layer is much like its name implies. It is composed of brush and bushes and it ranges from 5-20 feet in height. This layer of the rainforest is actually quite sparse and there is usually a lot of open space down here because the canopy layers block out and absorb most of the sunlight so not much sunlight gets down to this layer and to the ground layer.

The final layer is the ground layer and in this layer which is less that 5 feet in height is predominantly made up of small plants and seedlings of trees that are struggling to find a hole in the canopy where sunlight comes through.

The big thing about the rainforest is that it is an ecosystem that is very much alive, and the majority of its life and activity is found 100 feet off the ground in the canopy.

Continue on to the Rainforest Diorama