PLANT LIFE and adaptations
Plants in the congo
Some examples of plants that are native to the Congo Tropical Rainforest are African Teak (also known as Iroko), Moabi Tree, Orchids, Lobelia and Mahogany. However, these are just a few of the 6,000+ different plant species that grow in the Congo. Congo has a very diverse variety of plants and animals in its ecosystem.
2 examples of invasive species in the Congo are the Bitter Bush and the Water Hyacinth. The Bitter Bush is a small plant native to Australia, that now grows in the Congo Rainforest. The Bitter Bush affects the rainforest's ecosystem because it forms stands in the rainforest that prevent other plants from growing. The Water Hyacinth is an aquatic plant that is native to South America. It affects the rainforest's ecosystem because it grows in the waterways, and prevents sunlight and oxygen from reaching the plants that are already there.
Trees and plants have to adapt to life in the Congo. Some examples of plant adaptations in the rainforest are the trees growing to extreme heights to reach the sunlight and growing buttressed roots. Another example is the orchids growing on trees in the rainforest and relying on the air, rain and the trees for nutrients so they can grow.
An example of a symbiotic relationship that is unique to the Congo Tropical Rainforest biome is a bonobo eating fruit. The bonobo eats fruit from the trees and produces waste. The waste contains seeds from the fruit that was consumed by the bonobo and the seeds start to grow into new fruit trees in the rainforest. This is an example of a mutualistic relationship.
An example of succession from pioneer plants to a climax community is a pioneer plant such as Bladderwort, a small carnivorous plant which is then taken over by a perennial plant or grass, like the Congo Cockatoo Parrot Plant. New plants such as Philodendron Red Congo grow, and eventually a softwood tree like the Kapok Tree develops. Finally, a hardwood tree such as the Azobe Tree will grow, thus pinpointing the climax of the succession.
Pyramid of energy
A typical Pyramid of Energy for the Congo Tropical Rainforest would be small bushes or plants such as Philodendron Red Congo (Producer), which is then consumed by an animal such as an okapi (Primary Consumer). An okapi would be prey for a leopard (Secondary Consumer), which could be hunted by a lion (Tertiary Consumer).