An overview of the rain forests

Rainforest locations

Types of Rain Forest Rain forests may be grouped into two major types: tropical and temperate. In addition, new technologies allowed to use powerful combinatorial chemistry techniques to find active molecules without having to slog through the mud in some faraway jungle. Ultisols are known as well weathered, acidic red clay soils, deficient in major nutrients such as calcium and potassium. The largest areas of tropical rain forest are in the Amazon River basin of South America, in the Congo River basin and other lowland equatorial regions of Africa, and on both the mainland and the islands off Southeast Asia, where they are especially abundant on Sumatra and New Guinea. Below the canopy, the understory is a low-light layer dominated by shorter plants with broad leaves, such as palms and philodendrons. A large number of plants from this level are used as common houseplants. Several unique faunal species inhabit this layer such as the crowned eagle Stephanoaetus coronatus , the king colobus Colobus polykomos , and the large flying fox Pteropus vampyrus. Examples include leopard Panthera pardus , poison dart frogs Dendrobates sp. Rainforest protection Organizations and governments around the world are engaged in trying to protect rainforests. Two countries accounted for 46 percent of the primary meaning old-growth, undisturbed tropical rainforest loss in Brazil, which is home to more than half the Amazon, and Indonesia, where forests are cut down to make way for producing palm oil , which can be found in everything from shampoo to saltines. But the technological advancements which favored synthetic, lab-developed meds are now helping botanical prospectors once again, and a few daring pharmaceutical companies are back in the jungles looking for the next big drug.

Location The Malaysian rainforest eco-region extends across peninsular Malaysia to the extreme southern tip of Thailand. Away from riverbanks, swamps and clearings, where dense undergrowth is found, the forest floor is relatively clear of vegetation because of the low sunlight penetration.

An overview of the rain forests

Rainforests Are a Rich Source of Medicines Scattered pockets of native peoples around the world have known about the healing properties of rainforest plants for centuries and perhaps longer. The moisture helps create the thick cloud cover that hangs over most rainforests.

Many commercially available anesthetics, enzymes, hormones, laxatives, cough mixtures, antibiotics, and antiseptics are also derived from rainforest plants and herbs.

tropical rainforest

Ingredients obtained and synthesized from a now-extinct periwinkle plant found only in Madagascar until deforestation wiped it out have increased the chances of survival for children with leukemia from 20 percent to 80 percent. However, the hot, moist atmosphere and all the dead plant material create the perfect conditions in which bacteria and other microorganisms can thrive.

Threats The clearing of forest land by humans is the primary threat to the Malaysian rainforest ecosystem and its inhabitants.

rainforest

Natural disturbances include hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, river movements or an event as small as a fallen tree that creates gaps in the forest. Rainforest benefits When we lose rainforests, we lose an important natural resource.

Rainforest animals

About 17 percent of the Amazonian rainforest has been destroyed over the past 50 years, and losses recently have been on the rise. Examples include leopard Panthera pardus , poison dart frogs Dendrobates sp. Other types of tropical forest Several biomes may appear similar-to, or merge via ecotones with, tropical rainforest: Moist seasonal tropical forest Daintree "rainforest" in Queensland is actually a seasonal tropical forest. Habitat fragmentation caused by geological processes such as volcanism and climate change occurred in the past, and have been identified as important drivers of speciation. The canopy at the Forest Research Institute Malaysia Canopy layer Main article: Canopy ecology The canopy is the primary layer of the forest forming a roof over the two remaining layers. Grades 6—8, 9—12 From Rain forest and jungle are terms that are often used synonymously but with little precision. Tropical rainforests are found closer to the equator where it is warm. In vast portions of upland tropical forests, the practice of "shifting cultivation" has caused deterioration of the primary forest. Historical Extent of Habitat The extent of Malaysia's land surface was forested before humans began clearing trees. Many of the plants found in rainforests are being used to make medicine , including anti-cancer drugs, along with beauty products and foods. When buying any wood product, from pencils to furniture to construction materials, be sure to check sources and, ideally, choose only certified sustainable products. The largest areas of tropical rain forest are in the Amazon River basin of South America, in the Congo River basin and other lowland equatorial regions of Africa, and on both the mainland and the islands off Southeast Asia, where they are especially abundant on Sumatra and New Guinea.

Similarly, oxisols are acidic, old, typically reddish, highly weathered and leached, however are well drained compared to ultisols. Rain forests are significant for their valuable timber resources, and in the tropics they afford sites for commercial crops such as rubber, tea, coffee, bananas, and sugarcane.

Amazon rainforest

Rainforest protection Organizations and governments around the world are engaged in trying to protect rainforests. According to the World Wildlife Fund WWF , these include lowland dipterocarp forest , hill dipterocarp forest, upper hill dipterocarp forest, oak-laurel forest, montane ericaceous forest, peat swamp forest, mangrove forest, freshwater swamp forest, heath forest, and forests that thrive on limestone and quartz ridges. The largest areas of tropical rain forest are in the Amazon River basin of South America, in the Congo River basin and other lowland equatorial regions of Africa, and on both the mainland and the islands off Southeast Asia, where they are especially abundant on Sumatra and New Guinea. When buying any wood product, from pencils to furniture to construction materials, be sure to check sources and, ideally, choose only certified sustainable products. These regenerating young successional forests are called secondary forests or second-growth forests. Local leaders such as Chico Mendes of Brazil have spearheaded efforts to preserve the rain forests while allowing the indigenous inhabitants to continue to earn a livelihood by collecting rubber, nuts, and other forest products. They climb trees in the canopy to reach for sunlight. It is suggested that the total arthropod species richness of the tropical canopy might be as high as 20 million. But the technological advancements which favored synthetic, lab-developed meds are now helping botanical prospectors once again, and a few daring pharmaceutical companies are back in the jungles looking for the next big drug. Why "rain" forests? Respiration rates are highest early in the wet season because the recent dry season results in a large percentage of leaf litter and thus a higher percentage of organic matter being leached into the soil. The moisture helps create the thick cloud cover that hangs over most rainforests. The largest trees have buttressed trunks and emerge above the continuous canopy, while smaller trees commonly form a layer of more shade-tolerant species beneath the upper canopy.

When buying any wood product, from pencils to furniture to construction materials, be sure to check sources and, ideally, choose only certified sustainable products.

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Rainforest: Mission: Biomes