TROPICAL RAIN FOREST
When you are in the rain forest, you can observe the structure
of the forest around you carefully.
The appearance of the tropical rain forest is similar generally.
However, the ecosystem of each rain forest has its own
uniqueness, and is different from one another.
There are climbing plants which range from slender
soft-stemmed creepers to giant lianas. Some are as much as
30cm, thick and with many leafy branches spreading out
among the tree tops. The rattan - spiny stemmed climbing
plants - is among the common one to be found.
You may see plants - often ferns - riding high on a tree trunk or
branch, up where the light is brighter in many places. These
are called epiphytes. They are unable to survive in the
darkness at ground level because they have no connection
with the ground. They gather nutrients only from the rain and
the debris that collects around the plant. That's why epiphytes
do not grow to a large size.
There are trees which flower and fruit every year; others only
once in every four or more years. Some trees and climbers
flower from the main stem rather than from the leafy
branches-behaviour. They are called cauliflower.
Most rain forest trees replace their leaves progressively; some
of the larger trees lose all their leaves once a year, and stand
bare for a week or two before the new leaves sprout. Overall,
however, the rain forest always maintains an evergreen
Buttresses, climbers, stranglers, palms, epiphytes, cauliflower
- all in a multi-layered, evergreen ever-moist forest: this is
Malaysia's tropical rain forest, Malaysia's 'Green Heart'. Most
rain forest trees replace their leaves progressively; some of the
larger trees lose all their leaves once a year, and stand bare for
a week or two before the new leaves sprout. Overall, however,
the rain forest always maintains an evergreen appearance.
The eagle eats the snake eats the frog eats the dragonfly eats
the caterpillar eats the leaf... Yet the population of no plant or
animal is ever destroyed completely; always some individuals
will live long enough to breed and ensure the continuation of
the species All the functioning processes of the forest are
interlinked in an extraordinarily complex web of mutual