Structures and locations of rainforests across the world

The rainforest is composed of four predominant layers. The forest floor, the understory, the

canopy and the emergent layer.

The forest floor receives a mere 2% of the total light. Fungi, insects and parasites mainly

roam this area.

The understory is the layer between the forest floor and the canopy. It is mostly composed

of shrubs and trees that grow up to 12 feet in height. Rainfall and light are rare in this layer.

In the canopy, trees can grow up to 90 feet. Pollination in this layer relies of insects and


The emergent layer can consist of trees of about 120 feet. These are usually the oldest

trees. These receive the most sunlight, heat and rain.

Rainforests are typically found around the tropics, typically the equator. The largest

rainforest, the Amazon is found in South America. The rainforests nearer the equator are

typically tropical while those further away are generally temperate.

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