How Rainforests Work

By: Tom Harris

These trees have grown just above the rainforest's canopy. See more pictures of trees.
Photo courtesy Todd Fearer

Tropical rainforests are the most diverse ecosystem on Earth, and also the oldest. Today, tropical rainforests cover only 6 percent of the Earth's ground surface, but they are home to over half of the planet's plant and animal species. In this completely unique world, there are thousands of species we have yet to discover.

In this article, we'll travel into the tropical rainforest to see what makes it such a bountiful environment for plants and animals. We'll also see why the rainforests are in danger and look at some of the ways this affects us.