Amazon Rainforest

Simply an Introduction. For tour and travel information see the menu on the left, or our HOME page.

Green Tracks, as the experienced experts in eco travel, offers numerous ecotour package options to what is considered by some to be of the most beautiful, fascinating, alluring and powerful ecosystems of the world: the Amazon Rainforest. The rainforests of the Amazon are often referred to as Amazonia. They are labeled as one of the planet's most supreme natural resources and provide approximately 20 percent of the earth's oxygen.

The Amazon River is the life force of the rainforest and also the giver of its name. Amazonia provides the drainage basin for the river and all of its tributaries. There are over 1,000 tributaries connected to the Amazon River and 17 of them are over 1,000 miles long. Rainfall rejuvenates the region and from the river basin, it drains into the Amazonia and Amazon River.

The Amazon Rainforest is made up of four main layers, each with their own unique ecosystems, including wildlife and plants, that adapt to and inhabit the area. The tallest layer is the emergent layer and boasts trees up to 200 feet tall. The trunks of these trees can measure as big as 16 feet around. The next layer is the canopy. The trees of the canopy have pointy tipped, oval leaves that allow water to drip down from them very quickly. The dense leaves of the canopy trees also filter out most of the sunlight.

The understory layer is home to the greatest numbers of insects in the forest. This layer remains mostly in shadows, as only about five percent of sunlight reaches here. No taller than 12 feet high, the plants are dark green with very large leaves. Low growing flowers and plants provide food to the animals that inhabit this layer. The lowest layer of the Amazon Rainforest is the forest floor. Only two percent of sunlight reaches the floor and there is not much plant life. The floor catches falling organisms and vegetation as they are decomposing, which become nutrients to tree roots and insects.

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