A woman walking on a bridge

RAINFORESTS

What precisely is a rainforest? What distinguishes a jungle from a rainforest?

A densely overgrown area with trees and tangled vegetation, typically in a warm environment with a lot of rain, is referred to as a jungle. It is very challenging to move about in them because their floors are heavily populated with vines, plants, and swarms of insects. On the other hand, the term "jungle" does not refer to a particular ecosystem and is more descriptive rather than a scientific one.

On the other hand, "Rainforest" does. A rainforest is densely vegetated, similar to a jungle, but unlike a jungle, it has a canopy of tall trees that block most of the sunlight. This canopy prevents sunlight from penetrating the ground, inhibiting vegetation growth on the forest floor. Most activity occurs in the trees above in rainforests, unlike jungles, with vegetation prolific on the ground.

Australian Rainforests

A total of 3.6 million hectares, or 3% of Australia's total native forest area, are of the rainforest natural forest type.

High rainfall, luxuriant vegetation, and closed canopies are typical characteristics of Australia's rainforests. They hardly ever burn and typically have no eucalypts or just one that pokes its head through the rainforest canopy. When young and established in the understory of an established forest, rainforest tree species may tolerate some shade. When incidents like a tree fall, lightning strikes, or wind damage (even from cyclones) cause gaps in the canopy, they develop into giant trees.

A large portion of Australia's biodiversity, including many of its distinctive plant families, is supported by its rainforests. While the cool-temperate rainforests of Tasmania sustain a variety of fungi, mosses, and lichens, the tropical rainforests of Far North Queensland are abundant in marsupial, frog, and butterfly species.​

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