What is a rainforest canopy? It is a vibrant living system, a source of wonder and discovery. It is a part of the Earth’s prehistoric past and may be that is essential for mankind’s future. It is something that is vanishing from the world due to greed and pollution.
What is a tropical rainforest canopy? It is an ecosystem compromised of thousands, or millions, of plants layered over the tops of the giant trees protecting the ground of the rainforest. It is the dense layer of plants that not only shades the ground underneath, trapping moisture while preventing evaporation, but also breaks the force of the wind and rain that would cause erosion. The canopy is a protector.
The rainforest canopy is over 10,000 different types of orchids, some big and beautiful with others that are microscopic, but just as detailed and amazing. Then there are climbing vines, ferns and mosses as well as bromilliads and giant leafed philodendrons. All these plants tie together, looking like a giant, multi-coloured carpet spread over the trees. And that “carpet” is alive and filled with colour, and not just from the plants and flowers.
What is a tropical rainforest canopy? It is the abode and feeding place of thousands of creatures. Some, such as butterflies and birds fly over the top, pollinating flowers and often spreading seeds. Each of those 10,000 orchids has only one type of insect that pollinates them. There are also small reptiles and even a few mammals that only live and survive in the rainforest canopy. What is a rainforest canopy for these creatures? It is home and their only means of survival.
What is a tropical rainforest canopy? It is a source of potentials medicines for the human race. It is estimated that 90% of the plants that form the canopy contain different poisons and each poison is a potential cure for some illness. Over 75% of the new medicines being discovered today are derived from those poisons. Scientists study the poisons, learn how they work and then develop cures, those cures and poisons teach us more about how the body works and are then used for curing illnesses. This is more important as people travel, spreading disease faster and to more places.
What is a rainforest canopy? It is a vibrant living system, a source of wonder and discovery. The canopy is something that needs to be studied and conserved. Unfortunately it is something that is also being destroyed, and that needs to be stopped.