What is a biome?
A biome is a unique environment with a distinct climate and geography. There are five basic biomes which are: rainforest, desert, tundra, grassland, and temperate forest. The biome you live in right now is most likely temperate woodland or grassland. Each biome has its own specific characteristics that allow it to be identified from others miles away by smell or sight alone.
What is the Rainforest biome?
The rainforest biome is a lush, tropical forest found in the warmest climates on Earth. Though this biome has very little seasonal change, it includes many different habitats located near each other including swamps, marshes, and grasslands. The plants vary based on location but are mainly deciduous broad-leaf trees that form dense overgrowth.
What are the common inhabitants?
Animal species are abundant in this biome as well including primates, amphibians, monkeys, leopards, and jaguars. There are also thousands of insect species that live in the area which provide an essential role to the environment by pollinating flowers and trees. Snakes are another important part of this habitat as they help keep rodent populations controlled.
The rainforest biome has four layers:
– The Emergent has taller trees that grow among regular old trees giving it a sort of ladder-like appearance up into the sky which you can climb by cutting through the smaller trees and vegetation.
– The Canopy has a lot of greenery and life where the emergents end. The canopy is home to monkeys, feller-bunters, sloths, jaguars, etc.
– The Understory is where there are fewer species but they are usually more plentiful in number because of less competition for sunlight above them such as orchids, bromeliads, mosses, and ferns.
– The Forest Floor is very dark because it gets no sunlight at all so it’s mostly dirt with little plant life except for banana plants around the base of some taller trees. This floor holds a lot of water from rainfall so it’s hard to maneuver through this area even though a large portion of the rainforest biome is the forest floor.
It rains a lot in the rainforest biome – about 250 inches per year. However, this doesn’t include dew and fog drip which happens when moisture collects on leaves and then drips off into the soil below.
The Eden Forest – A Rainforest Biome You Can Visit
It is currently possible to visit The Eden Forest – a man-made biome that was created by Michael Pawlyn, an architect. Located in Cornwall, England at the Eden Project, you can walk through an artificial rainforest and see over 40 different types of plants growing in one area along with monkeys, frogs, iguana’s, birds and butterflies. The best part is this brief tour takes only half an hour so it’s quick but very much worthwhile!
Where are rainforest biomes?
A rainforest biome can be found in several places around the planet but mostly near the equator. Brazil has one of these biomes located south of Rio de Janeiro but right next to it is another – The Atlantic Forest, which was once a biome that stretched all the way to Argentina until it was destroyed for its lumber.
The Amazon also contains a large amount of forest with over half of this region being covered in leaves, vines, and other types of plant life. However, parts of Brazil are not actually hot or humid enough for a rainforest biome so if you are looking to visit one it’s best to look elsewhere!
Why should you care?
- The rainforest biome holds about half of earth’s animals and plants despite makingup only 2% of the planet’s surface.
- A little over 1 million species exist on earth with most of them living in rainforest biomes like the Amazon.
- Half of our medicines come straight from plants found only in these unique habitats.