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Interaction of tropical tree with other foliage

Interaction of Tropical Tree With Other Foliage

In order to better understand how tropical ecosystems function with such a diverse collection of foliage teeming through the landscape, we must appreciate the make-up of plants and microbes along with how they interact with one another in tropical rainforest ecosystems.
So what is it about tropical trees and their relationship with other foliage and life forms that provides such an elegant ecosystem? It?s a question scientists have marveled over for eons. The means of co-habitation among tropical trees and other foliage displays some true Darwinian prowess. Yes, even Charles Darwin, the famed scientist studying evolution would smile at how trees and other plant and life forms evolve in these dwindling rainforest landscapes.
The striking diversity of tropical rainforests is an empowering, magical component of this small segment of the Earth?s surface. Less than 3% of the planet is covered in rainforests. Second only to the diversity is the physical interactions that take place in this ecosystem. Plant and tree life interaction are one of the most conspicuous, and often times misunderstood, features of rainforest habitats. For example, a fallen tree trunk can lead to a thin row of seedlings. These seedlings will be germinated. The 45 degree angle bend in the tree?s stem of a treelet flattened many years ago by a palm tree frond, leads to a tree crowned in epiphytes. Where else but in a tropical rainforest can such a chain of seemingly coincidental occurrences lead to such wondrous new life?
Do plants and tree life get overlooked in rainforests? By humankind, surely this is the case, but within the bio-organic mind of the treescape, interaction continues to foster new life. For example, a detritus-fall from large individuals can break and wind of killing smaller trees, foliage, or other plant life. This same turn of events can, and does, occur in any forest. Yet, it is a vitally important facet of tropical rainforests, a phenomenon really. The precursor to a tree?s demise might, as we said, be palm tree fronds or branches from another fallen tree or a heavy rainfall pelting the skies and damaging a wide range of seedlings covering the forest floor. Once scattered on the forest floor, the seedlings enter what is known as the detritus food chain, some of it becoming available to other plants and/or foliage.
Water, just like nitrogen, can become accessible to second species through the actions of the first. For instance, hydraulic lifts occur in Savannas. These hydraulic lifts occur when water is taken in by deeply embedded root structures during the night, siphoned up from shallow root structures rooted in the surrounding soil.
Once it reaches the surface of the soil, the water is then transferred to the plant that originally sent it out, or to a competing neighboring plant. That, or else it will evaporate back into the air of the ecosystem.
Pollen and other alleochemical interactions occur in ecosystems as well. There is a very active area of chemical ecology found in tropical trees that thrive among the diverse foliage present.
So, it?s not just how trees interact and evolve with other trees and foliage that is so noteworthy. The deeper, sometimes invisible interactions alleochemical interactions and evaporation, to name two also role play important parts in the life cycle tropical trees. So, the next time you come across some literature on tropical trees, open your eyes and spend a little time getting to know this eco system.

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