A very important part. 70-90% of all rainforest life is in the trees, and it is believed that a quarter of all insect species live in the canopy. In addition to the lifeforms it holds, the canopy also regulates the local and global climates and shields the interior forest from the elements.
The rainforest canopy helps keep the diversity of the forest alive while allowing each plant and animal to thrive in its environment. Each rain forest canopy layer harbors its own unique plants and animal species interacting with the ecosystem around them. Without a canopy there would be no rainforest because the canopy provides the moisture and the control of moisture needed.
How does the canopy provide the moisture? Do the clouds that bring the rain get their moisture daily from the canopy? I am imagining that there would be quite a bit of condensation from the trees like there is on your grass every morning.
They estimate that 70-90% of the life in the rainforest actaully lives in the trees. The canopy plays a central role in pollination and the spreading of the seeds. All the millions of leaves in the canopy act like little solar panels bringing in the energy of the sun through photosynthesis and supply energy to the rest of the forest. These trees have higher yields of fruit, seeds, flowers, and leaves supplying food to the forest.
The forest canopy prevents a good degree of sunlight from reaching the forest floor, so this impacts the ecology of the forest floor quite dramatically. Plants on the forest floor have adapted to low light, moist conditions including characteristics such as large leafs to catch a lot of sunlight with reddish undersides which enables them to reflect light back into the leaf so that it is not lost. Lianas (or vines) are characteristic of rainforest ecology, and they have evolved to be able to grow towards sun patches in low light conditions.
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