Tropical Rainforest Introduction
Tropical rainforests house over half of Earth's biodiversity. They cover less than 2% of Earth's surface, yet they're home to more than 50% of the world's plants and animals.
Rainforests and Global Weather
Tropical rainforests significantly influence global weather patterns by producing 20% of Earth's oxygen and absorbing vast amounts of atmospheric carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas.
Rainforests boast high biodiversity. One hectare may contain over 750 types of trees and 1500 species of higher plants, an unmatched ecological variety.
Rainforest Soil Surprises
Contrary to expectations, tropical rainforest soil is often poor in nutrients. The ecosystem is so efficient that decomposed material is rapidly reabsorbed by plants.
Unique Rainforest Layers
Rainforests have distinct layers like the emergent, canopy, understory, and forest floor, each hosting unique ecosystems that rarely interact with each other.
Medicinal Treasure Troves
Over a quarter of modern medicines originate from tropical forest plants. Yet, less than 1% of tropical trees and plants have been tested for medicinal properties.
Endangered Rainforest Realms
Despite their importance, tropical rainforests are endangered. Each minute, forested land the size of 40 football fields is lost, largely due to deforestation for agriculture.