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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 appearance.

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 dependence.

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