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Tropical Rainforest Virtual Field Trip. Tropical Rainforest Virtual Field Trip. What is a rainforest?. A Rainforest can be described as a tall, dense jungle. The reason it is called a "rain" forest is because of the high amount of rainfall it gets per year. 

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what is a rainforest
What is a rainforest?
  • A Rainforest can be described as a tall, dense jungle.
  • The reason it is called a "rain" forest is because of the high amount of rainfall it gets per year. 
  • The climate of a rain forest is very hot and humid so the animals and plants that exist there must learn to adapt to this climate.
why are they important
Why are they important?
  • These incredible places cover only 6 % of the Earth's surface but yet they contain MORE THAN 1/2 of the world's plant and animal species!
  • As many as 30 million species of plants and animals live in tropical rainforests.
  • At least two-thirds of the world's plant species, including many exotic and beautiful flowers grow in the rainforests.
why are they important1
Why are they important?
  • Rainforests are the source of many items that we all use in our own homes!
  • We eat several foods from the rainforest and many medicines are made from ingredients found only in these areas.
  • chocolate
    • sugar
    • cinnamon
    • rubber
    • medicine
    • pineapples
rainforest layers
Rainforest layers

Emergent layer, trees can be 200 feet high. Most trees are broad-leaved, hardwood evergreens. Sunlight is plentiful up here.  Animals found are eagles, monkeys, bats and butterflies.

Canopy layer forms a roof over the two remaining layers.   Most trees have smooth, oval leaves that come to a point. It forms a very dense layer. Food is abundant for animals including snakes, toucans and tree frogs

Little sunshine reaches here so the plants have to grow larger leaves to reach the sunlight.   The plants in this area seldom grow to 12 feet.  Many animals live here including jaguars, red-eyed tree frogs and leopards and many insects.

It's very dark here and so no plants grow here,  Things begin to decay very quickly.  A leaf that might take one year to decompose in a regular climate will disappear in  6 weeks. Giant anteaters live in this layer.

a delicate ecosystem
A delicate ecosystem
  • Rainfall is absorbed by the trees and pulled up to the canopy where it evaporates into the air.
  • Trees and plants receive most of their nutrients from decaying matter (fallen leaves and organic debris).
  • Plants and trees hold down the topsoil and keep it from washing away in heavy rains.
  • When the land is cleared and crops are planted, the soil doesn't stay fertile for long without the nutrients from the decaying matter.
  • Once the foliage is removed, heavy rains wash away the topsoil.
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Forest PeopleForest people lose their homes, their culture, and sometimes their lives. Their knowledge of the forest is lost

Last SongbirdsSongbirds, which help farmers in the U.S. by eating insects, can no longer winter in tropical forests.

Changed ClimateBurning huge areas of rainforest releases carbon, causing changes in wind currents and rainfall around the world

Undiscovered MedicinesPlants that might provide new medicines and products become extinct before they can be studied.

ExtinctionThousands of species of rainforest animals and plants are lost forever