The structure of a tropical rainforest is what many people would consider a bit upside down. While the deep-rooted trees of temperate forests are free-standing, and often ancient, behemoths, tropical rainforest trees are not as massive or old. They have roots only at the surface and they are supported mainly by their crowns.
A healthy tropical rainforest possesses a highly ordered and organised architecture.
Enough trees have reached a sufficient height to form a “canopy” of interlocking tree crowns bound together by vines.
The canopy forms a skin over the rainforest ecosystem and it regulates many of the conditions within the forest.
The canopy provides almost complete shade to the forest floor. In the absence of light, plants don’t do much growing and this subdues the plants below the canopy. Thus, the understory is dominated by a relatively open forest floor, studded with an even spread of younger plants and trees of all ages which are not so…