Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Jungle and Rainforest

jungleJungle vs Rain forest

Though jungle and rainforest might appear to be similar, there are differences between the two. A rainforest area is often surrounded by a jungle, with the primary difference being that a rainforest has a very thick canopy of tall trees, which make it very difficult for light to penetrate to the ground level making it difficult for plants to flourish. A jungle floor on the other hand will usually have a thick undergrowth of plants and vegetation.

Jungles are sometimes artificially created. If  part of a rainforest is cleared, the remaining trees will let in more light towards the forest floor, thus encouraging growth of vegetation, and thereby making a jungle out of a former rainforest. Another difference is in a  cultural sense. Forests in the Indian sub-continent have always been known as jungles, whereas the rainforests have really been identified with the Amazonian basin in Brazil.

The word jungle is taken from the Hindi language, and as such its association is really with the rich and varied flora and fauna of India and its surrounding countries. Rainforests on the other hand straddle the equatorial belt and can be found in South America, the Congo basin of Africa and South East Asia.

Another difference lies in the importance of tropical rainforests to the ecological health of the earth, which is immense. In comparison, jungles have a relatively minor impact. And also unlike a jungle a tropical rain forest has distinct layers. There is an upper canopy consisting of trees that are between 60 and 130 feet high. This is where most of the animals live. Then there is the lower canopy consisting of trees 60 feet high. Hardly any light reaches here and the level of humidity is very high. Lastly, there is the ground level which has very little vegetation and one can easily walk around. About 80% of the world’s insect species live over here.

Thus we see that even though jungle and rainforest are terms often used interchangeably, there are quite a few differences between the two.

Summary:
1.A rainforest has a very thick canopy of tall trees, making it very difficult for light to penetrate to the ground level which makes it difficult for plants to flourish. A jungle floor on the other hand will usually have a thick undergrowth of plants and vegetation.
2.If  part of a rainforest is cleared, the remaining trees will let in more light towards the forest floor, thus encouraging growth of vegetation, and thereby making a jungle out of a former rainforest.
3.Forests in the Indian sub-continent have always been known as jungles, whereas the rainforests have really been identified with the Amazonian basin in Brazil.
4.Another difference lies in the importance of tropical rainforests to the ecological health of the earth, which is immense. In comparison, jungles have a relatively minor impact.


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