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Biome and Ecosystem-tropical Rain Forest

Biome and Ecosystem-tropical Rain Forest

After referring to the infographic provided for this assignment (Grand Canyon University, n.d), my choice of a biome is the tropical rainforest. The tropical rainforest is a hot and moist biome with rain throughout the year. In addition, the tropical rainforest biome has dense canopies of vegetation, which usually form three layers. The first layer, or the top layer, has huge trees that grow up to two hundred feet and above. The second layer is composed of smaller trees, palms, and vines, and they receive small amounts of sunlight due to the first canopy layer; as such, the layer is used as common houseplants. The bottom and last layer is the ground, covered by leaf litter and other dead plants. Few plants can grow on the floor due to the dead material and lack of sunlight; however, microorganisms thrive in this environment. A perfect ecosystem example of a tropical rainforest biome is the Amazon Rainforest.

One example of a keystone species found in the Amazon Rainforest is the rodent species known as Agouti. Agoutis have characteristics that are reminiscent of squirrels but with few differences in appearance (Jones, Lall & Garcia, 2019). In the Amazon rainforest, one of the predominant and native trees is the Brazil nut tree, which has a lifespan of several hundred years and forms the first canopy layer. These trees provide shelter for many animal species living in the forest. Accordingly, these nut trees produce very hard nuts that contain their seeds. For these seeds to be dispersed, the nut has to be broken, and that is where the Agoutis come in. As they feed on these nuts, Agoutis help in the dispersal of the seeds, which means that if the rodent species became extinct in the forest, the nut trees would also perish, bringing about a huge reduction in the size of the forest. The level of impact they have on a given ecosystem is what defines a keystone species. The more impact a species has on an ecosystem, the more keystone it becomes.

One example of an invasive species in the Amazon Rainforest is the golden mussel, scientifically known as Limnoperna fortune. Golden mussels are tiny mollusks with arrow-shaped caramel shells native to China, specifically the Yangtze River (Boltovskoy et al., 2022). This species was introduced in South America in the late twentieth century and has continued to invade various ecosystems in the continent, making its way to the Amazon by water. Golden mussels use a strong, sticky substance to attach themselves to surfaces, plants, and even animals. Once this occurs, they start reproducing, covering whatever surface they have attached themselves to with time. Eventually, the plants and animals are suffocated to death (Boltovskoy et al., 2022). This puts the millions of native species in the Amazon Rainforest, especially those that are yet to be discovered, in danger of extinction. In addition, this invasive species has a high rate of reproduction, which rapidly endangers the lives of other species in their surroundings as well as their habitat, forcing them to relocate. To help reduce the spread of this invasive species and the several negative impacts that come with it, the most common measure is eliminating them using chemicals. With the rapid spread in South America and with no sure measure to stop their invasion, the goal is containment away from rich environments. Besides, golden mussels attach themselves to boats and travel from one area to another. As such, people using boats are advised to use disinfection materials to kill and get rid of golden mussels on their boats.

The Amazon Rainforest has several endangered species, with the jaguar topping the list. Accordingly, over the past two decades, there has been a mass decline in the number of jaguars in the Amazon forest (Bogoni et al., 2023). This decline has been a direct result of human activities in the forest and its surroundings. Such activities include human-wildlife conflict, poaching and hunting, trafficking, forest fires, agricultural activities, and deforestation (Bogoni et al., 2023). One strategy that has been implemented to help protect the jaguars in the Amazon is the Regional Jaguar Strategy, whose aim is to increase the population of the species by stopping activities that lead to their deaths, restoring their habitat, building connectivity, and increasing their prey base by 2030.


Bogoni, J. A., Boron, V., Peres, C. A., Coelho, M. E. M., Morato, R. G., & Oliveira-da-Costa, M. (2023). Impending anthropogenic threats and protected area prioritization for jaguars in the Brazilian Amazon. Communications Biology6(1), 132.

Boltovskoy, D., Paolucci, E., MacIsaac, H. J., Zhan, A., Xia, Z., & Correa, N. (2022). What we know and don’t know about the invasive golden mussel Limnoperna fortune. Hydrobiologia, 1-48.

Grand Canyon University. (n.d). Biomes and Ecosystems. (Infographic).

Jones, K. R., Lall, K. R., & Garcia, G. W. (2019). Omnivorous behavior of the agouti (Dasyprocta leporina): A neotropical rodent with the potential for domestication. Scientifica2019.


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Pick a biome and ecosystem and create a 500-700 word essay addressing the following:

Refer to the infographic provided and choose a biome to describe with an example ecosystem.
Provide one example of a keystone species found in the biome/ecosystem. Why is this keystone species important to the biome/ecosystem? What defines it as a keystone species?

Biome and Ecosystem-tropical Rain Forest

Biome and Ecosystem-tropical Rain Forest

Provide an example of an invasive species found in the biome/ecosystem. What are some of the negative impacts this invasive species has on the ecosystem? What is being done to mitigate impacts?
Provide one example of an endangered species found in the biome/ecosystem. Briefly discuss the causes of the decline in the species and what is being done to help.
Please refer to the “Biomes and Ecosystems” infographic located in the topic Resources. Also, include at least 3 academic sources and make sure all sources are cited in your essay.

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