Panorama: rainforest epiphytes

Title Info
Source Dan L. Perlman
Ecosystems Forests
Forests Tropical rainforest
Selection and adaptations Selection
Selection Morphology
Lessons Panoramas
Date August 07, 2009
Location Monteverde,Costa Rica,North America
Panorama of Rainforest trees with and without epiphytes
Related materials: Panoramas;Tropical rainforest
You may want to discuss with your students how this ecosystem type appears to differ from other tropical ecosystems such as tropical dry forests, or savannas, and how it is possible that tropical rainforests on opposite sides of the planet can look so similar while sharing few if any species. Discussing the costs and benefits of very flaky bark as an anti-epiphyte strategy can lead to further discussions about natural selection and adaptation.

Panorama Viewing: Click the "View Panorama" button to see an interactive panorama. Click and drag your mouse in any direction to view other parts of the scene; press the Shift key to zoom in to see details and press Ctrl to zoom out.
We recommend using the Deval VR viewer for seeing panoramas that do NOT have sound and the QuickTime viewer for panoramas WITH sound.

Tropical rainforest trees are frequently so heavily covered with epiphytes (plants that grow on other plants) that they can suffer structural damage from the extra weight. However, a number of tree species have evolved very flaky bark so that they slough off nearly all of their epiphyte load, as seen in this panorama.