Sunday, May 17, 2009
Rain forests are the world's oldest living ecosystem They currently cover only 6% of the earth's surface but contain more that 1/2 of the world's plant and animal specimens which provide both food and medical products. A rain forest is described as a tall dense jungle. The reason it's called a "rain" forest is because of the high amount of rain it gets each year (usually between 68-78"). The climate is very hot and humid so the plants and animals that live there learn to adapt to the climate. The rain forest is made up of 4 layers: emergent (200' trees that tower over the forest floor), canopy (primary layer of the forest that forms a roof over the 2 remaining layers), understory (little sunshine causes the plants to have larger leaves to try to reach the sun) and the forest floor (very dark with almost no plants growing).Rain forests once covered 14% of the earth's land surface. They are being destroyed because of the perceived value of the rainforest's land by governments, logging companies and land owners.