Rainforest Ecosystem


Rainforests are the most complex and species-rich ecosystem on Earth.


But what is rainforest ecosystem?




A Ulysses Butterfly, Native to Australia, Lands on Some Pink Flowers
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An ecosystem is a community of all organisms in a given area, and the physical environment which they interact with.



On the land there are terrestrial ecosystems such as forests, grasslands or rainforests; and in the water there are freshwater and marine ecosystems such as lakes and, say, coral reef.

(By the way coral reef is the second species-richest ecosystem on the Earth). 

Rainforest biome is very complex. It includes a myriad of different species of plants and animals that are all adapted to rain, and lots of it.

Trees in Hoh Rainforest, Olympic National Park, USA
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There are different levels of plants in the rainforests. The highest are the tall trees that often, particularly in tropical rainforests, form a closed canopy. On the next level are vines, orchids and epiphytes that grow high up in trees to reach more sunlight. Lower down are tree ferns and similar short trees, and next there is the forest floor - dark but far from lifeless.
 
Green Leaf-Katatyd in Rainforest Near Kinabatangan River
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Animal life is also complex. Insects are deeming in what is very favourable conditions for them. Frogs and reptiles thrive. Bird life is noisy and colourful with many species of parrots and cockatoos. Since birds live mostly in the rainforest canopy, rainforest snakes are often tree snakes. Many mammals also live up in trees, whether they are herbivores or carnivores. And rivers and waterholes contain different water animals.

Frilled Tree Frog in Rainforest, Sukau, Sabah, Borneo
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All those plants and animals are dependent on each other in a complex food web, and/or benefit from each other in other ways in the ecosystem.

Rainforest Biome

Layers of the Rainforest




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