The rainforest floor is often dark and humid due to constant shade from the canopy’s leaves. Despite its constant shade, the rainforest floor is an important part of the forest ecosystem.

The forest floor is where decomposition takes place. Decomposition is the process by which fungi and microorganisms break down dead plants and animals and recycle essential materials and nutrients.

Also, many of the largest rainforest animals are found on the forest floor. Some of these are elephants (in Asia), the tapir (Southeast Asia and Central and South America), tigers (Asia), and the jaguar (Central and South America).

Canopy photo gallery

 

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Review questions

  • Describe the conditions of at the ground level in the rainforest.
  • What is decomposition?
  • What are some examples of animals that live on the ground level of the rainforest?
Additional resources

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