Reading comprehension exercise for class 9

Read the passage given below and answer the questions that follow:

The Amazon is the world’s largest tropical rainforest. It is roughly the size of the continent of Australia and covers an area of nearly 2.8 million square miles. The Amazon rainforest gets its life from the majestic Amazon River which runs through the heart of the region. Amazon is also the second largest river in the world. The rainforest is simply the drainage basin for the river and its tributaries. The vast forest consists of four layers, each featuring its own ecosystems and specially adapted plants and animals.

The forest floor is the lowest region. Since only two percent of the sunlight can filter through the top layers to the understory very few plants grow there. The forest floor, however, is rich with rotting vegetation and bodies of dead animals which quickly break down and get integrated into the soil as nutrients. Tree roots stay close to these available nutrients and decomposers such as millipedes and earth worms use these nutrients for food.

The understory is the layer above the forest floor. Much like the forest floor, only about 2 to 5 percent of the sunlight reaches this shadowy realm. Many of the plants in the understory have large, broad leaves to collect as much sunlight as possible. The understory is so thick that there is very little air movement. As a result, plants rely on insects and animals to pollinate their flowers.

The layer above the understory is the canopy. This is where much of the action in the rainforest occurs. Many plants growing in this layer have specially adapted leaves with drip tips. Drip tips allow water to flow off the leaves and thus prevent mosses, fungi and lichens from infecting the leaves. Leaves in the canopy are very dense and filter about 80 percent of the sunlight. The canopy is where the wealth of the rainforest’s fruits and flowers grow.

Answer the following questions.

1. Which is the world’s second largest river?

2. How important is the Amazon River for Amazon rainforests?

3. Why do very few plants grow in the understory of the rainforests?

4. Why is there very little air movement in the understory?

5. What is the layer above the understory called?

6. Find the word from the passage which means ‘grand’.


1. Amazon is the world’s second largest river.

2. The Amazon rainforest is simply the drainage basin for the Amazon River and its tributaries. The river flows through the heart of the forest and is the source of water for the plants and trees growing in the forest.

3. Only about 2 percent of the sunlight filters through the top layers of the forest into the understory, so very few plants grow there.

4. The understory is very thick and hence there is very little air movement there.

5. The layer above the understory is called the canopy.

6. Majestic

Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I am Manjusha. This is my blog where I give English grammar lessons and worksheets.

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