What makes a rainforest? Millions of things, living and dead and inanimate, but perhaps most importantly of all, rain. Rain, obviously, comes from clouds, and clouds come from.... fungi? Maybe so, according to an essay in TIME based on research published recently in the journal Science, which explores the intricate relationship between a rainforests's unique weather and the flora and fauna that rely on it.
When you mess with the Amazon rainforest you mess with a lot of things — 2.5 million species of insects, 40,000 species of plants, 1,300 species of birds, and those are only the known ones. The 1.4 billion of acres of thriving, sprawling biology that cover the Amazon help drive the very metabolism of a continent. And now it appears that the rainforest is at least partly responsible for something else: the Amazonian clouds themselves. Clear-cut the land and you could, in effect, clear-cut the sky.
More about the tenuous link between land and sky, on TIME. Link