2. Bates, Marston. 1952. “The Rain Forest”. In, Where winter never comes; a study of man and nature in the Tropics. New York, Scribner.

1. Find Tela on Google Earth or a map.  Which of the ten tropical climographs that you completed would be most similar to Tela's?

2.  Although the chapter is based on a location in Colombia, Bates description is appropriate for rain forests in Middle America.

3. Look at the "Rain Forest" map and note that rain forests are found along Middle America's coast strips.  This region is also called the Middle American littoral.

4. Why does Bates feel that "jungle" is an inappropriate synonym for the tropical rain forest?

5. Why does he compare the forest to a cathedral?

6. On what grounds base his claim that few diseases are "associated with the tropical forest"?  Why is it that malaria is often caught in the tropical forest?

7. How do rains in the tropical rain forest differ from what we've been getting recently in California?

8. What does Bates mean when he says that the rain forest and coral reefs "represent the maximum development of life"?

9. With regard to light, how is a rain forest like the sea? In which zone does most photosynthesis occur?

10. What does Bates mean by "giantism"?  How does it explain bamboo, tall trees, and the vine habit?

11. How is the prehensile tail of rain forest mammals a parallel of plant giantism in the rain forest?

12. How is the forest floor zone like a "cork lined room" compared to the air just above the canopy?

13. In which forest zone did the mosquitoes live?

14. Note how diversity of mosquitoes influenced frequency of biting.

15. What does Bates mean by niches?  How is it related to diversity and independence?

16. How is a bromeliad a niche?

17. Bates obviously wrote before deforestation was a problem.  However, his point is correct.  The tropical rain forest has little economic value.  The economic motivation that has led to so much of it being cleared is its value as cleared land for agriculture, not for the economic value of the diverse organisms that live in the forest.

18. Note the poor soils of the forest and their short-term value to farmers and how farmers have adapted an agricultural system to the limits of the rain forest.

19. I hope you get to chance to visit a tropical rain forest.  You might agree with Bates' final paragraph.