Ideas for Projects
Pollinating The Plants
Birds, bats, bees, butterflies and moths all play an important role in the reproduction of rainforest plants. In most ecosystems, the pollen is carried from one plant to another by the wind. In a rainforest ecosystem, however, there is hardly any wind at all, so the animals are vitally important for plant pollination.
What adaptations have rainforest plants and animals evolved to help with pollination?
Describe some specific examples of interdependence (the relationships between the animals and plants).
Dispersing The Seeds
Some species of monkeys, bats and birds are very important seed dispersers. Even some species of fish are responsible for dispersing seeds! The plants produce large numbers of seeds and hope that at least some of them will be spread around the forest and end up in suitable places for germination. Without animals' help, this spreading around of the seeds would not be possible.
How do plants attract the seed-dispersing animals?
Describe how different types of animals manage to disperse seeds around the rainforest.
Predator and Prey
As in other ecosystems, most rainforest animals are herbivores (they eat plants), but some of them are carnivores and eat other animals. The animal predators come in many shapes and sizes, and include spiders, insects, amphibians,reptiles, birds and mammals. The largest predators, which are at the top of the food chain, are known as indicator species. These predators, such as the jaguar of South America and the tiger of India, need a lot of living space, and if an area of forest has a healthy population of such animals, then we can be pretty sure that the whole forest community is doing well. Any destruction of forest habitat, or a decrease in numbers of their prey will affect the population of large predators.
Choose one of the groups of predators mentioned above, and find out details about where they live, their way of hunting, their prey etc.
Construct food chains, and perhaps a food web, which include the predators you have chosen.