The Amazon Forest

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Region The Amazon also known in English as Amazonia or the Amazon Jungle, is a moist broadleaf forest that covers most of the Amazon Basin of South America. This basin encompasses 7,000,000 square kilometres (2,700,000 sq mi), of which 5,500,000 square kilometres (2,100,000 sq mi) are covered by the rainforest. This region includes territory belonging to nine nations. The majority of the forest is contained within Brazil, with 60% of the rainforest, followed by Peru with 13%, Colombia with 10%, and with minor amounts in Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname and French Guiana. The Amazon represents over half of the planet's remaining rainforests, and comprises the largest and most biodiversity tract of tropical rainforest in the world,…show more content…
Tropical rainforests have more types of trees than any place in the world; scientists have counted 100 to 300 species in one 2 1/2-acre area in the Amazon rainforest. The trees form four separate areas in the rainforest, including emergent trees, the canopy, the understory and the forest floor. Emergent trees are umbrella-shaped trees with smooth bark that are 100 to 240 feet tall. The upper canopy has 60 to130 feet tall trees and most of the rainforest's animals live in the upper canopy. The understory, or lower canopy, is shaded by the upper canopy and contains shrubs, plants and trees up to 60 feet tall. The forest floor is so shaded that few shrubs can grow there; a shrub/sapling layer on grows on the forest floor, however it receives very little light that filters through the canopies, and hence, has some stunted…show more content…
A study in 1999 found one square kilometer (247 acres) of Amazon rainforest can contain about 90,790 tonnes of living plants. The average plant biomass is estimated at 356 ± 47 tonnes per hectare. To date, an estimated 438,000 species of plants of economic and social interest have been registered in the region with many more remaining to be discovered or catalogued. The total number of tree species in the region is estimated at 16,000. The green leaf area of plants and trees in the rainforest varies by about 25% as a result of seasonal changes. Leaves expand during the dry season when sunlight is at a maximum, then undergo abscission in the cloudy wet season. These changes provide a balance of carbon between photosynthesis and respiration. The rainforest contains several species that can pose a hazard. Among the largest predatory creatures are the black caiman, jaguar, cougar, and anaconda. In the river, electric eels can produce an electric shock that can stun or kill, while piranha are known to bite and injure humans. Various species of poison dart frogs secrete lipophilic alkaloid toxins through their flesh. There are also numerous parasites and disease vectors. Vampire bats dwell in the rainforest and can spread the rabies virus. Malaria, yellow fever and Dengue fever can also be contracted

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