This greenhouse offers a view unimaginable in the wild. Here you can see both the canopy – the top part of the forest – and the forest floor, with even more plants than actually grow there in nature.
Lush and diverse
With all the sunlight, heat and humidity, the plants here never get any rest. They thrive high in the canopy, where the light is brightest, and grow more slowly on the shady forest floor. Epiphytic plants and lianas cling to the trees everywhere. Some trees rise above the rest as they stretch toward the sun.
Welcome to a tropical rainforest, home to over half of all known plant and animal species.
Hot and humid
These forests form a largely unbroken belt around the equator. The most extensive tropical rainforest is in the Amazon basin in South America, followed by those in Central Africa and Southeast Asia. These regions are hot and humid all year round.
Although this ecosystem covers barely 10% of our planet’s land surface, it is home to a wider diversity of plant and animal life than any other terrestrial habitat.
Rich and threatened
The world’s tropical rainforests have been home to different peoples for thousands of years. They provide us with precious timber, medicinal plants — and oxygen! But these vast expanses have been plundered and have already lost much of their wealth. They continue to disappear, taking part of our global genetic heritage along with them.
Here’s your chance to learn some intriguing facts about this unique habitat.