Amazonian leaves

Amazonian leaves

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Credit: DR MORLEY READ/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Amazonian leaves. Leaves of a plant (family Melastomataceae) that grows in the understorey of the Amazon rainforest. The understorey is the lower area of the rainforest that is shaded by the forest canopy. Plants in the understorey need to be shade-tolerant and able to survive in the humid atmosphere. Understorey plants often use wavelengths of light different to those the canopy plants use to photosynthesise. The swollen leaf bases of this plant house ant colonies. This is a symbiotic relationship, with the ants gaining shelter and nutrition and protecting the plant against herbivorous insects. Photographed in Ecuador.

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Keywords: amazon rainforest, amazonian, ant colony, biological, biology, botanical, botany, colonies, ecuador, leaf, leaf base, leaves, nature, plant, shade-tolerant, south america, south american, symbiont, symbionts, symbiosis, symbiotic, tropical, understorey, understory, zoological, zoology

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