What Are the Layers of a Rainforest?

layers of the rainforestThe Earth’s rainforests are complex and amazing, holding many secrets and an explosion of living organisms within their midst. They also produce a vital oxygen supply for all creatures throughout the planet, increasing their value. Take a close look to discover each layer of the rainforest in detail to have a better understanding of this unique eco-system.

The first layer of the rainforest is the emergent layer. This consists of the tallest trees that stretch their limbs to the sky at heights of up to 200 feet over the forest floor. This part of the rainforest is exposed to sunlight, contains many types of living creatures, and consists mainly of a type of hardwood evergreen.

The second layer of the rainforest is the canopy layer. Think of it as a roof that offers protection for everything that lies below. This is found beneath those trees that reach far above. The trees, leaves, and vines are closely knit together, providing excellent shelter for an abundance of life forms. There is easy access to food in this layer.

rainforestThe understory layer comes next. Shorter plants with very large leaves are common in this particular layer as they adapt to having little access to sunlight. As with the previous layers, there are many animals and plants that are found in this area of the rainforest.

The forest floor waits at the bottom of the rainforest. This is a dark and mysterious place where few things grow because the remainder of the rainforest has blocked out the sunlight with its heavy growth. Plant debris decomposes quickly in this murky part of the forest. It is a point of fascination for researchers to explore the secrets that await them on the forest floor, far below the impressive trees that tower above.

Images via edtechlens.com, Dennis Stenbjerg


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