notes on Flow of Matter and Energy in Living things: http://www.gerrymarten.com/publicatons/pdfs/GM_Tropical-Rain-Forest.pdf *Tropical rain forests are filled with tall trees. These trees work together to form a "tropical ceiling," also know as a canopy, that covers the smaller plants from the heat and brightness of the sun. *The forests are also filled with organisms such as herbs, trees, shrubs and other foliage. Amazon rainforests produce about 40% of the world's oxygen *We eat several foods from the rainforest *The rainforest is an ecosystem because it's home to many plants and animals which all exist in relationship with one another. *Because it is a specific type of environment, there are different weather patterns, different plants and different animals, that all rely on eachother. *Rainforests are dark. The hot sun shines on it and they absorb heat. * *Energy enters the forest as sunlight. It transforms vastly because soil and plant surfaces absorb sunlight, and warm air carries heat energy as it passes to areas of cooler air. Heat passes between the soil and the air above, between the forest and the atmosphere ** *layers in the rainforest- EMERGENT LAYER The tallest trees are the emergents, towering as much as 200 feet above the forest floor with trunks that measure up to 16 feet around. Most of these trees are broad-leaved, hardwood evergreens. Sunlight is plentiful up here. Animals found up there are eagles, monkeys, bats and butterflies. CANOPY LAYER This is the primary layer of the forest and forms a roof over the two remaining layers that are below. Most canopy trees have smooth, oval leaves that come to a point. It's a maze of leaves and branches. Many animals like snakes. toucans, and tree frogs live in this area because food is easily accessible. UNDERSTORY LAYER Little sunshine reaches this area so the plants have to grow large leaves to reach the sunlight. The plants in grow up to 12 feet tall. Many animals live here including jaguars, red-eyed tree frogs and leopards, following with many insects also. FOREST FLOOR It's very dark down here, meaning this floor is the surface. Since hardly any sun reaches the forest floor things begin to decay quickly, and no plants grow as a result. Anteaters live in this layer of the rainforest.