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Relic Rain Forest near Cape Otway, southern Australia. View of the diversity of plant species under the canopy of a sub- tropical rain forest. The rain forests are vast regions of multi-layered floral communities. Tall trunks of the canopy trees are interspersed with species that are more at home in dark conditions. Environmentalists and scientists alike lament the destruction of the Earth's rain forests as one of the great disgraces of humanity: not only are the rain forests a major source of oxygen (from plant respiration) but they are also home to millions of unique plant and animal species. Environment [1989]