Which of the following is/are unique characteristic/characteristics of equatorial forests?
- Presence of tall, closely set trees with crowns forming a continuous canopy
- Coexistence of a large number of species
- Presence of numerous varieties of epiphytes
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
[UPSC Civil Services Exam – 2013 Prelims]
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2 and 3
The recurring features of rainforests can be summarized as follows:
- Presence of evergreen trees: Rainforests are dominated by tall, closely set trees with crowns forming a continuous canopy. These trees are mostly evergreen.
- High animal and vegetal biodiversity: Rainforests are known for their high levels of animal and plant diversity. They are home to a wide range of species, many of which are endemic.
- Presence of numerous varieties of epiphytes: Epiphytes are plants that grow on the branches of other trees. Rainforests are characterized by the presence of numerous varieties of epiphytes.
- Dark and sparse undergrowth interspersed with clearings: The forest floor of a rainforest is often dark and sparse, with scattered clearings that allow sunlight to penetrate to the forest floor.
- Scanty litter: Organic matter settling on the ground is scanty in rainforests due to the rapid decomposition of fallen leaves and branches by the humid conditions and high microbial activity.
- Presence of “strangler” creepers: Some rainforest species, such as Ficus spp., have the ability to grow around and eventually kill their host trees. These are known as “strangler” creepers.
- Presence of “buttresses” and spindly roots: In areas that are often-flooded, rainforest trees develop large winged ribs at the base of trunks known as buttresses and spindly roots to support the tree and help it absorb oxygen.
Therefore, option (d) is the correct answer.Top of Form