Physical Features

In the rainforest, there are four different layers known as the emergent (overstory), upper canopy, understory, and the forest floor.


The Emergent Layer

The emergent layer includes trees that are usually spaced wide apart and range from 100-200ft tall with a special trait, the trait is that the trees have a umbrella shape that grow tall over all other trees.  The leaves on these trees are small and pointed, the reason they are shpaed this way is because since thier so tall and grow above all other trees, they are exposed to dry winds.  The emergent trees have very few branches with straight and smooth trunks and also have a very shallow root system. (


The Canopy

The Canopy layer form a type of room over the understory and forest floor. The trees that make the canopy layer have large smooth leaves that come to a point. The many leaves of the canopy attracts more sunlight for photosynthesis which provides fruits, seeds, flowers, and leaves which supports a wide number of different animal life. The trees create good living conditions for wildlife such as snakes, toucans, and treefrogs. The canopy layer provides shelter under the trees from harsh weather conditions.(


The Understory

The layer under the canopy is the understory.The leaves block the rest of the light that gets through the canopy from the forest floor. The huge broad leaves in the understory captures the light making it humid and dark which habitats a large amount of insect life. (


The Forest Floor

The rainforest floor is relatively clear of vegetation beacause of the darkness that the canopy causes. The canopy diverts the sunlight, and damps the wind and rain from reaching the floor of the rainforest. "Despite its constant shade, the ground floor of the rainforest is the site for important interactions and complex relationships (". Decomposition occurs on the forest floor which is a process that is needed for the rainforest. Thousands of plants and animals also live on the forest floor.





Search site

© 2008 All rights reserved.