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Rain-ForestsMost life on Earth depend on forests
Rainforests are extremely important in the ecology of the Earth.|
The plants of the rain forest generate much of the Earth's oxygen.
These plants are also very important to people in other ways:
Many are used in new drugs that fight disease and illness.
What is a temperate rainforest?
Temperate rainforests receive from 1,500
to 5,000 millimeters (60 to 200 inches)
of rain a year.
In California, the rainfall is closer to the
lower end of the range.
The climate is mild (temperate)because
the same mountains that block the ocean moisture
help protect the rainforest from extreme weather.
There are two seasons in the temperate rainforest
one long, wet season
where the temperatures rarely drop to freezing
and one short dry season
when the temperatures rarely exceed 80.
Even in the dry season the climate is
cool and cloud-covered with fog providing
the necessary moisture to nourish the rainforest.
What Can We Do to conserve Existing Rain-forest?
We all play a part in the conservation of tropical forests.
The more you know the better you understand the problems of declining tropical forests.
Share your knowledge with others and encourage them to become involved.
Citizen diplomacy plays an important role in persuading governments to limit environmental degradation.
Various groups worldwide have joined hands to influence global policies.
Support us in our work them by becoming a BSB member.|
Map and location of rain-forests
Ask where the meat of your hamburgers comes from.
If the stock came from the rain-forests of Central or South America don't buy it.
Avoid purchasing hardwoods that come from the rain-forest such as mahogany or rosewood.
Lobby legislatures to restrain government agencies and lending institutions that invest in harmful development of the tropics.
Plant trees + support tree plantings: It will take a great deal of planting and time to grow and replace what we have already lost, but every seedling helps to secure your and the future of your children!
Infra-red photo from space 1992 - rainforest is red|
Probably the most important tool for saving the rainforest
is helping developing countries achieve sustainable growth.
We don't need to control these nations,
but we do need to communicate to the native peoples
of the rain-forest how important their lands are.
Infra-red photo map from space 2006 - rain-forest is red
Can you see how big deforestation is?
RAINFOREST - people hear the word|
and think of a lush jungle,
green plants, colorful birds,
high humidity, and heavy rainfall
they think of tropical rainforests.
These forests are found in
Southeast Asia, Africa, South America,
and Central America
On the map you can see that
there is a different kind of rainforest,
named the + temperate rainforest +
South America has
Temperate rainforests are formed because
the coastal mountain ranges
trap the air masses full of moisture
that rise from the oceans.
As this moisture condenses into rain
it creates lush rainforests with trees
like the Coastal Redwood in California
that grow to enormous sizes and a biomass
that exceeds that of the tropical rain-forests.
Because of the heavy rain and mild temperatures, these conifers enjoy maximum year-round growth and reach record heights and girth.|
Coastal redwood giants in California have reached heights of over 300 feet = the height of a 30 story building!
Four additional conifers grow in the rainforest.
Second tallest is the Douglas Fir
(up to 280 feet),
followed by Sitka Spruce (230 feet),
Western Red Cedar (200 feet),
and Western Hemlock (130 feet).
Some of these trees may be up to 500 to 1000 years old! The trunks are often more than 100 feet around!
Beneath the canopy is the understory.
In this layer are found small shade-loving trees, such as dogwood (beautiful pink /white flowers, and vine maples.
Ferns, salal, and berry shrubs grow in the filtered sunlight beneath the small trees.
On the forest floor, the lowest layer, there is a thick covering of low growing lichens, mosses, small plants, oxalis, native flowers and grasses.
The ground is covered with conifer needles, leaves, branches, twigs, and fallen trees.
Mosses and algae cover the rocks, tree trunks, and branches.
Everything feels rich and moist and the forest floor show all shades of green.
In this shady, rich environment many varieties|
of mushrooms, toadstools, and other fungi
grow very well.
A lot of dead organic material provides
the soil with full nutrients
broken down by de-composers
such as bacteria and insects.
The temperatures are cool,
so organic material is broken down
much more slowly than in
the tropical rain forest.
When we measure the biomass(living things)
we find in each square yard of this forest
more than anywhere else on Earth.
A big Sitka Spruce) dies
and falls onto the forest floor.
Small seedlings take root on the
horizontal trunk and it becomes a "nurse log".
We call them nurse logs, because young trees grow
on the top mossy surface of the fallen trees.
Fallen logs make a moist, soggy,
wet habitat for mosses, ferns, lichens,
new plants and tree seedlings.
Colonnades (trees standing in a row) may form
after the nurse log has completely disintegrated.
Trees can also be found standing on “stilts”
because they first sprouted on stumps of dead trees
and as they grew over time, the stumps decayed
leaving the tree standing only on the roots.
Most of the animals in the temperate rainforest
live on or near the forest floor.
Understory and canopy provide protection
from the wind and rain.
A lot of food is found there.
Berries and cones drop with nutrient rich seeds,
which are eaten by birds and small animals
such as voles (mouse-like creatures) and
Insects live in the mossy floor and tree bark.
Birds and amphibians feed on the insects.
Many amphibians live in the streams and ponds and salmon are important consumers.
Other big animals in the temperate rainforest are deer, black bears and cougars.
How does a temperate rainforest compare to a tropical rainforest?
The differences in temperature and rainfall,
make the temperate and the tropical rain-forests very different.
The trees, the plants, the structure of the forest, the animals that live there,
and even the type of soil are so different
that you recognize immediately in which forest you were.
In a lush tropical rainforest you see very different types of trees and plants,
more colors, more animal sounds.
Over 1,100 species of plants are found in some tropical rainforests!
Big leafy trees and plants, mainly palms, bamboo and tree ferns.
Branches touch and leaves seem to fill every space in the canopy.
Vines, such as the Strangler Fig, hang down from the trees.
Insects are everywhere and there are colorful fruits,
and many different birds (parrots).
Most of the animals live in the canopy far above the forest floor.
Monkeys, jaguars, bats, birds and all colors and shades
and large poisonous snakes.
The forest would be teeming with the movement and sounds of life.
Temperature is always be warm, never cool.
A temperate rainforest is never hot, temperatures can be warm in the summer,
but most of the time it is cool and wet.
Giant redwood trees mixed with only 4 other species of tall conifer trees.
The understory shows leafy, delicate trees and shrubs such as dogwoods and maples.
The forest floor is a thick layer of mosses and other low-growing plants with
nurse logs nurturing young plants.
Most of the animals of this forest live on the forest floor, because the soil is rich,
there is lots of food, and the tall trees provide protection
from the sun, wind, and rain above.
Grizzlies, bear or cougar, owls or woodpeckers, raccoon and chipmunks, grazing deer
or elk are roaming here, but never a poisonous snake!
Temperate rain forests are quiet and peaceful with sunlight filtering
down in beautiful beams from the canopy above.
Protect Earth's RainforestsA rain forest produces oxygen
Rain-forest capture CO2 carbon dioxide
A rainforest holds water, reduces floods
Rain-forests are home to wildlife
A rain-forest's biodiversity offers
medicine and health for all living beings
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