Structure of Rainforest: A vertical
stratification of three layer of trees is apparent.. These layers have been
identified as A, B, and C layers:
- A layer: the emergents. Widely spaced trees 100 to 120 feet
tall and with umbrella-shaped canopies extend above the general canopy of the
forest. Since they must contend with drying winds, they tend to have small
leaves and some species are deciduous during the brief dry season.
- B layer: a closed canopy of 80 foot trees. Light is readily
available at the top of this layer, but greatly reduced below it.
- C layer: a closed canopy of 60 foot trees. There is little
air movement in this zone and consequently humidity is constantly high.
- Shrub/sapling layer: Less than 3 percent of the light
intercepted at the top of the forest canopy passes to this layer. Arrested
growth is characteristic of young trees capable of a rapid surge of growth
when a gap in canopy above them opens.
- Ground layer: sparse plant growth. Less than 1 percent of
the light that strikes the top of the forest penetrates to the forest floor.
In such darkness few green plants grow. Moisture is also reduced by the canopy
above: one third of the precipitation is intercepted before it reaches the