So I currently live in the Pacific Northwest. I have lived here most of my life so I know this climate pretty well. But I am moving to Guyana. I have never lived in a tropical rain forest before and was wondering what sort of plants and trees grow best to support a great ecosystem? What sort of plants do I want to grow to chop and drop to raise quality of soil? What can I do for flooding in the rain season?
Also any books or Internet links would be greatly appreciated.
A brief perusal of the literature available will give you more than plenty of ideas.
Forest gardening is far easier in the humid tropics than anywhere else, since neither light nor rainfall are as limiting as in other climates. Plants that in cooler areas need full sun will survive and even thrive in the understory. Many of these are commercially grown in the sun, pursuing maximum yields (think coffee and tea); whereas their natural habitat is partial shade and they will produce moderately there and fill in those niches. Pretty much the whole ginger family (ginger, turmeric, cardamom, etc.) fits into this category. You can crowd things together more without danger of competition for moisture (provided the climate has rain year round or enough rain in a season to leave moisture in the soil through the dry seasons. Leguminous overstory and companion trees are important components, especially in a new system.....and there are many more of them to choose from than in temperate zones.
Ruth Stout was famous for gardening naked. Just like this tiny ad: