Now that everyone has got the right shoes, the right apparels and the mandatory items, it’s time for everyone to get to know about MMTF’s natural habitats and it surroundings. We trust by understanding our surroundings, you will be better equipped at the end of the day to be victorious.
We will share things to see and take note of and what is there to love and taken cognizance of in lieu of danger they might present.
For a start do take note that the atmosphere is hot and humid. And it can really rain here if it does rain (4000m average incomparable to Peninsula’s average of 2000m; coupled with mixture of misty, cloudy and windy conditions, it can either burn everyone or chill everyone to the spine).
Secondly, rainforest plants are in a constant battle, not just with the insects, fungi, birds and mammals that eat them, but also with each other. Plants protect themselves from predators using various strategies. Some plants are poisonous, some have thorns, some have thick bark and others have tough leaves.
Caution – Always be aware of what you are going to hold next and for that reason we did recommend gloves in the mandatory item list.
Thirdly, there is more than the rainforest around us. The life that lives within it.
We will do our best to point them out to everyone over the next few days.
A) Buttress Roots
Tropical rainforests often have poor quality soil that is shallow, and low in nutrients.
Because of this, many rainforest trees have developed what are known as ‘buttress roots’.
Buttress roots grow out at an angle from a tree’s trunk up to 10 metres from the ground. They widen the base of the tree, making it more stable in the thin soil. They also help to spread out the tree’s roots over a large area, allowing it to obtain more nutrients.
Caution :- Do watch your feet so as not to trip over them. They can also be slippery when it is wet.
B) Strangler Figs
Strangler figs kill the trees that they grow on.
Many epiphytes avoid harming the plant on which they grow. This isn’t the case with strangler figs, which eventually kill the host plant.
Strangler figs begin life in the branches of other trees. As strangler figs grow, their roots descend to the forest floor. Their stems wrap around the host tree, until they form a lattice. The fig is now able to capture more sunlight and draw up more nutrients that the tree in which it grows. The host tree eventually dies.
The strangler fig lattice, which is often formed by more than one fig, is by then strong enough to support its own weight. It remains standing even when the host tree has rotted away.
The strangler fig is an extremely important plant in the rainforest ecosystem. Its fruit is food for many rainforest animals.
Caution – Don’t panic if you get caught between them or and watch not to trip over it.
C) Pitcher Plants
Pitcher plants capture and drown unwary insects.
No tropical rainforest plants list would be complete without a carnivorous plant! Pitcher plants have evolved to prey on insects. They grow in areas where the soil is low in nutrients.
There are many different types of pitcher plant, but all work in the same way. They lure insects with nectar or tempting scents. The insects then slip down into the plant’s tube. Hairs in the sides of the tube prevent the insect from escaping.
The insect eventually drowns in a pool of liquid at the bottom of the tube. The plant draws nutrients from the insect’s body. Some of the most well-known pitcher plants are those of the Nepenthes genus.
Caution – Do not drink from Pitcher plants unless you are desperate for liquids.
Happy Trails …
Team TNF Malaysia Mountain Trail Festival 2019
3rd October 2019