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Plants in the treetops....

Up here there are also epiphyllous, mostly ancient plants such as blue algae, green algae, moss, lichen and tiny ferns that establish themselves on the leaves of trees and even on the epiphyte. Most leaves of rainforest plants and trees have a long tip like eaves that allows rainwater to run off more quickly. This is how they can cause a faster settlement with epiphyllous plants and counteract leaching from long-standing rainwater. 

 

The competition for sunlight is not the only reason behind the choice of lofty heights through epiphytes. Necessity is known as the mother of all invention, and with the complete lack of nutrients in the rainforest soil one can certainly talk of necessity. The solution comes from the sky. It may sound like a joke, but truly the epiphytes of the Amazon get a large amount of their nutrients from Africa. Measurements have shown that global winds carry enormous amounts of fine dust from the Sahara that are eventually dumped with rainfall on the Amazon basin. The intricate network of roots and adhesive organs of the epiphytes filter nutrients from these sand particles. Falling parts from plants, feathers and other items also get caught in this network and thus build balls of nutritious substrata into which other plants and even small animals can move in.