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What are the layers of the rainforest?

From the soil layer...up...up..up...to the canopy!

This downloadable video is a great little introduction to the various layers of the rainforest - exploring the names of the layers and some of the things you'll find in each. 

Curriculum Links

  • Geography
  • Habitat

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Video: What are the layers of the rainforest?

Go up and up from the forest floor, through the understory, right up to the canopy in this video about the layers of the rainforest.

Video transcript

If we go through all the layers we've actually got the soil layer first, which is very important.

The forest floor is all of the leaf litter - everything that falls to the floor - all the leaves and bark and perhaps dead animals and anything that will decompose makes a really rich soil for lots of invertebrates to live in.

Kind bacteria which live in the soil and funguses that help all the plants to grow.

And then we have something called the understory layer and this is the plants that grow on the rainforest floor. They can be very dense, thorny and difficult to get through. Or it can be very open - it really depends on how the other layers of the forest are.

So then you go up through the understory, right up to the canopy, which is the trees at the top. If those trees are very closed, then you don't get as much growing on the ground. If it's very open then you get lots of vegetation growing on the ground and it's very dense.

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