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Glossary of terms

Biodiversity: the condition of nature in which a wide variety of species live in one area

Biome: a distinct natural community, such as a grassland or a desert, distinguished chiefly by its plant life and climate

Botanist: a scientist who studies plants

Canopy: a tight umbrella-like covering over the forest

Conservation: the protection of valuable things, especially forests, wildlife, and natural resources

Culprit: a person who is guilty of doing something wrong or of committing a crime

Deforestation: the cutting down of forests

Ecosystem: a community of animals and plants, interacting with their environment

Emergent layer: a layer of plant life made up of trees that reach above the canopy to heights of 100 to 165 feet

Epiphytes: plants that grow on other plants

Equator: an imaginary line around the middle of the earth, halfway between the North and South Poles

Erosion: ahe gradual wearing away of soil, rock debris, and other material from the Earth's surface caused by water or wind

Jungle: the dense, scrubby vegetation that develops following the destruction of a true tropical rain forest

"layers of life": the four layers of plant life in the rain forest: the canopy, the emergent layer, the understory, and the floor

Lush: growing thickly and healthily

Medicines: a drug or other substance used in treating illnesses

Nocturnal: happening at night

Precipitation: the falling of water from the sky in the form of rain, sleet, hail, or snow

Poachers: a person who hunts or fishes illegally on someone else's land

Rain forest: a dense tropical forest where a lot of rain falls

Temperate: neither very high nor very low temperatures

Threatened: in danger

Tropical: to do with or living in the hot, rainy area of the tropics

Understory: young trees and plants with fleshy green stems that grow directly below the canopy