The billions of leaves of the canopy, acting as miniature solar panels, provide the source of power for the forest by converting sunlight to energy through photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is the process by which plants convert atmospheric carbon dioxide and water into oxygen and simple sugars. Since the rate of photosynthesis of canopy trees is so high, these plants have a higher yield of fruits, seeds, flowers, and leaves which attract and support a wide diversity of animal life. Besides attracting a broad array of wildlife, the canopy plays an important role in regulating regional and global climate because it is the principal site of the interchange of heat, water vapor, and atmospheric gases. In addition to collecting solar energy and regulating the climate, the canopy shields the understory from harsh and intense sunlight, drying winds, and heavy rainfall, and retains the moisture of the forest below. Thus the forest interior is a far less volatile environment than the upper parts of the canopy ceiling. The interior region is protected from the extremes of the canopy: temperature fluctuations, damaging solar radiation, and strong winds. Light levels are diffuse and subdued, the humidity is higher and more constant, and there is very little direct sunlight in the lower canopy.