The forest is a natural habitat for many species of living things. Scientists have calculated that the number of forest inhabitants of the planet is up to half of all representatives of the fauna. The diversity of forest fauna is determined by the structure and composition of vegetation, climatic conditions and human economic activity.
The richness of the forest fauna directly depends on the complexity and diversity of forest vegetation. The more shelters in the forest, the more abundant the food supply, the greater the number of species found in this ecosystem. It is considered that the fauna of the rainforests of the tropical belt of the planet is the richest.
The peculiarity of any forest is its tiered character. The vertical arrangement of the tiers assumes the presence of soil, litter, grass, shrubs and trees. Fauna complexes are usually tied to a certain level, while the lower tiers of the forest are of particular importance for the life of animals.
The factors that determine the diversity of the forest fauna are the presence of uneven-aged stands, in particular, dried and old trunks, as well as the hollowness of trees and the level of littering of the territory. Many forest dwellers are severely limited in their living space by specific species of trees and shrubs. Foresters do not always take this into account when carrying out preventive measures, during which natural shelters of birds and animals are often destroyed.
The specific forest habitat forced animals in the course of evolution to adapt to local conditions. Sharp claws, elongated limbs and flexible tails are designed to move along the trunks and branches of trees. The flying squirrel received from nature a skin fold, which makes it possible to glide from tree to tree.
Some forest birds have acquired powerful beaks adapted to feed on buds, seeds, or insects. Other representatives of birds are distinguished by a high development of the sense organs (hearing, sight and smell), which facilitate hunting in the forest. Certain types of invertebrates use a special color or body shape to protect themselves from enemies, which allows them to camouflage themselves against the background of vegetation.
A wide variety of interconnections and complex food chains are established among forest dwellers. Life in the forest is a constant, never-ending struggle for survival, in which there is a place not only for direct aggression, but also for parasitism. In their quest to survive, animals actively compete for territory and food. Often, animals use the traditional shelters of their rivals, displacing them from their habitats.
Each type of forest dweller plays a specific and sometimes very important role in the development of forest ecosystems. Birds and some mammals that consume the seeds and fruits of plants promote the proliferation and regeneration of trees and shrubs. Insects, flying from flower to flower, are engaged in pollination of plants. Diggers help soil formation processes. In this sense, a forest as a habitat for animals is a single system, all elements of which are connected by strong bonds.