Biosphere 2 rainforest closed during drought experiment

Drought will soon descend on the University of Arizona's Biosphere 2 rain forest, and an international research team will be ready with an array of instruments to record what unfurls under the glass.

Fires not the only threat facing Amazon

Raging wildfires have drawn the world's attention to the Amazon but immolation is just one of the dangers facing the world's largest rain forest, environmental experts across the region say.

Biochar: A better start to rain forest restoration

An indigenous farming technique that's been around for thousands of years provides the basis for restoring rain forests stripped clear of trees by gold mining and other threats.

Changes in subsistence hunting threaten local food security

Scientists with the Universidad San Francisco de Quito and WCS Ecuador Program publishing in the journal BioTropica say that subsistence hunting in Neotropical rain forests—the mainstay of local people as a source of protein ...

How does the Amazon rain forest cope with drought?

The Amazon rain forest isn't necessarily a place that many would associate with a drought, yet prolonged dry spells are projected to become more prevalent and severe because of climate change. The question at hand is how ...

Estonian soil is surprisingly rich in species

Due to its biodiversity and theoretically huge number of taxa waiting to be discovered, soil fauna has been called the poor man's rain forest. If a researcher cannot head to the tropics but wishes to discover something new, ...

Pollution controls help red spruce rebound from acid rain

The gray trunks of red spruce trees killed by acid rain once heavily scarred the mountain forests of the Northeast. Now those forests are mostly green, with the crowns of red spruce peeking out of the canopy and saplings ...

How bees find their way home

How can a bee fly straight home in the middle of the night after a complicated route through thick vegetation in search of food? For the first time, researchers have been able to show what happens in the brain of the bee.

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Rainforests are forests characterized by high rainfall, with definitions setting minimum normal annual rainfall between 1750–2000 mm (68-78 inches). The monsoon trough, alternately known as the intertropical convergence zone, plays a significant role in creating Earth's tropical rain forests.

From 40 to 75% of all species on Earth are indigenous to the rainforests. It has been estimated that many millions of species of plants, insects, and microorganisms are still undiscovered. Tropical rainforests have been called the "jewels of the Earth", and the "world's largest pharmacy", because of the large number of natural medicines discovered there. Rainforests are also responsible for 28% of the worlds oxygen turn over, often misunderstood as oxygen production, processing it through photosynthesis from carbon dioxide and through breathing to carbon dioxide.

The undergrowth in a rainforest is restricted in many areas by the lack of sunlight at ground level. This makes it possible to walk through the forest. If the leaf canopy is destroyed or thinned, the ground beneath is soon colonized by a dense, tangled growth of vines, shrubs, and small trees called a jungle. There are two types of rainforest, tropical rainforest and temperate rainforest.

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