- from Rain Forests
A tropical rain forest is like three different worlds, stacked on top of each other. The first layer is the forest floor. It’s pretty dark.
The thick leaves and branches above let in very little light. They also shelter the floor from wind, even in the most violent rainstorms. So it’s fairly calm. Very little light means few plants grow on the forest floor. Except for tree trunks, the floor is pretty open.
The second layer of the forest is the understory. Here, too, it is dim and humid. Bushes, shrubs, vines, and small trees make up the understory. Some of the trees will grow taller and become part of the third layer.
The third layer, or canopy, is made of the tops of very tall trees. Canopy trees may reach a height of 150 feet. Their slender trunks branch out into leafy crowns. Trees always seek the sunlight. Some canopy trees, called emergents, may grow to 200 feet.