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by Orient-Express
Maroma Mexico - Maroma Resort and Spa in Mexico

The Rainforest

Our jungle, classified as semi-evergreen lowland rainforest, is the most important component in the ecology of the area. It is very efficient recycler of the nutrients and water, taking in what it receives from the atmosphere and using it to produce food and shelter for a huge diversity of species. The statistics are awesome.

Though rainforests cover only 6% of the earth’s land area, they are home to over 50% of all existing species. A single acre can contain from 40-200 different species of tree, a single tree can house over 50 types of ant.

Two thirds of the world’s birds are found there (500 species in the Yucatán alone) and two thirds of all flowering trees grow only there. All of this abundance in an environment that won’t even support one cow per acre when the land is cleared!

The sparse topsoil is poor and easily eroded by heavy tropical rains, but the rainforest doesn’t demand on the soil. It sustains itself by harnessing the sun’s energy to create new growth (10-12 tons per acre per year). In this process of photosynthesis the tree canopy combines carbon dioxide extracted from the atmosphere with water to produce glucose by which it lives.

This energy is passed along to the lower plants in the form of fallen leaves and humidity, and in turn it is passed on successively to plant eaters, insect eaters, carnivores and finally to the fungi, bacteria, termites and other agents of decomposition whose work dissipates the last bit of energy originally taken from the sun.

As a bonus during this process the jungle returns moisture and oxygen to the atmosphere, both of which play an important part in controlling the climate on the whole area.

 

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