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The Forest Floor. By Patricia. The floor itself is covered with a litter of rapidly decomposing organisms that break down into usable nutrients. A leaf that will take one year to decompose in a temperate climate, will disappear in just six weeks on the rainforest floor.

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The Forest Floor


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The Forest Floor

By Patricia

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The floor itself is covered with a litter of rapidly decomposing organisms that break down into usable nutrients. A leaf that will take one year to decompose in a temperate climate, will disappear in just six weeks on the rainforest floor.

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A high proportion of the nutrients in the system are locked in the large biomass (trees and other plant storage systems). There is heavy competition for these nutrients. This is why many trees are so shallow-rooted.

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Large mammals such as tapirs, search for roots. Insects including termites, cockroaches, beetles, centipedes, millipedes, scorpions and earthworms, along with fungi, use the organic litter as a source of food.

earthworms

millipedes

beetles

scorpions

termites

cockroaches

centipedes

tapirs

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The forest floor forms the lowest level in the forest. Little sunlight filters through to this area.

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The floor is covered with wet leaves and leaf litter. There is much decay on this level, which sends nutrients back into the soil.