Asked May 7, 2019

Describe the relationship between forest structure and biodiversity


Expert Answer

Step 1

Forest is a complex ecosystem, which is quite rich in biodiversity that range from small seedlings to large evergreen trees. A typical forest has vertical as well as horizontal arrangement and distribution of vegetation that even forms smaller ecosystems of their own. Vertically, all the large trees are grouped together, which receive maximum sunlight and rainfall. They form the canopy of the forest. Then the trees with medium height are grouped together, which form the inner crown of the forest. The shrubs form the third layer that receive less amount of sunlight and rainfall in comparison to the large trees. Finally, the herbs, grasses, dead wood, and leaves form the ground layer of a forest ecosystem that receive sparse or no sunlight because they get shielded from the other three layers of vegetation.

Step 2

As far as horizontal arrangement of forest vegetation is concerned, it may vary from forest-to-forest and due to the presence of abiotic factors like sunlight, soil, precipitation, temperature and moisture. Small water bodies like ponds, river streams or waterholes may occasionally be found in between forest ecosystem.

Step 3

The entire flora and the fauna that is a part of an ecosystem, in this case of forest, is called its biodiversity. A forest ecosystem that incorporates a variety of vegetation may serve as an excellent habitat for a number of animals and other small life-forms. Depending upon the availability of water, soil,...

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