Flashcards in 1B: The Living World Deck (78):
What is an ecosystem?
A system in which organisms interact with each other and their environment
What are the abiotic components of an ecosystem?
The non-living parts (e.g. water, air or rock)
What are the biotic components of an ecosystem?
The living parts (e.g. plants, insects and animals)
What are flora?
The plant life occurring in a particular region or time
What are fauna?
The animal life occurring in a particular region or time
What are the three components of a nutrient cycle?
Soil, biomass, litter
How do nutrient leave the nutrient cycle?
Surface runoff and leaching
What is the litter?
The surface layer of vegetation which over time breaks down to become humus
What is biomass?
The total mass of living organisms per unit area
What is a biome?
A large geographical area of distinctive plant and animal groups
What is a producer?
An organism or plant that is able to absorb energy from the sun through photosynthesis
What is a primary consumer?
A creature that eats plant matter
What is a secondary consumer?
A creature which eats other animals
What is a decomposer?
An organism that breaks down dead plant and animal matter
What are the four layers of a tropical rainforest (list from the top)
1) the emergent layer
2) the canopy
3) the under canopy
4) the forest floor
How much rainfall do tropical rainforest receive a year?
What temperature are tropical rainforests throughout the year?
Where are tropical rainforests found?
Between the tropics
Why are rainforests so hot and wet?
The suns rays are more concentrated at the equator which results in high temperatures and convectional rain caused by evaporation
Describe the rainforest nutrient cycle
1) biomass is the largest nutrient store
2) the biggest transfer is from soil to biomass
3) poor souls due to leaching
4) thick litter layer which rapidly breaks down to hot, damp conditions
5) warm humid climate means rapid plant growth
How are jaguars adapted to survive in the rainforest?
Spotted fur acts as camouflage in the dappled shade of the forest floor
How are parrots adapted to survive in the rainforest?
Strong sharp beams to help them crack open nuts
How are spider monkeys adapted to survive in the rainforest?
Have a prehensile tail that allows them to cling to branches
How are poison dart frogs adapted to survive in the rainforest?
Bright colour to warm predators away
How are tropical rainforests distributed?
1) centres along the equator between the tropics of cancer and Capricorn
2) can be found in South America, central Africa and south east Asia
3) the Amazon (worlds largest rainforest) takes up the majority of northern South America
How much of the earths plants and animals live in rainforests?
How much of the earth do rainforests cover?
How are plants in the rainforest adapted for survival?
1) emergents outgrow other trees to reach sunlight
2) buttresses help support the base of tall trees and transport water
3) lianas (woody creepers) intertwine with trees in order to reach the canopy where they have their leaves and flowers
4) epiphytes live on branches high in the canopy to maximise sunlight (they obtain nutrients from water and air)
How are leaves adapted for survival in the rainforest?
1) have ‘drip tips’ to allow heavy rain to drip off leaves
2) have flexible bases so they can turn to face the sun
Why are tropical rainforests valuable?
1) home to more than half the worlds species
2) home to an estimated 50 million indigenous forest people
3) responsible for 20% of the worlds rainfall
4) ‘lungs of the earth’
What is selective logging?
1) only fell full grown trees on a 30-40 year cycle
2) replanting trees which have been grown in a nursery
How are trees which have been felled sustainably (selective logging) identified?
The forest stewardship council marks sustainably sources timber
What is afforestation?
crops and trees are combined (crops grown in carefully controlled areas in the rainforest and vice versa)
What does the international tropical timber agreement (2006) state?
Only timber that has been marked with a registration number to show it has been felled in a sustainably managed forest can be traded internationally
What does the CITES Treaty (1973) do?
Blocks the illegal trade in rare and endangered animals and plants
Give an example of how conservation has helped to protect tropical rainforests
The WWF (NGO) operates in areas of the world where ecosystems are being seriously threatened. They...
1) educate people on the importance of conservation
2) train conservation workers
3) provide practical help
4) but up threatened areas and create nature reserves
Give an example of how a debt-for-nature scheme (debt reduction) helped to protect tropical rainforests
In 2010 the USA signed an agreement to convert a Brazilian debt of $13.5 million into a fund to protect large areas of the Amazon
What are the 3 layers of soil in Tundra environments?
1) active layer
what is permafrost?
permanently frozen ground (25-100 cm deep)
what is Tundra?
the flat, treeless Arctic regions of Europe, Asia and North America where the ground is permanently frozen
what is a fragile environment?
an environment which is easily distrrubed and difficult to restore if disturbed
what is a wilderness area?
an natural environment that has not been significantly modifies by human activity
what are Polar regions?
the regions of the earth surrounding the North and South Poles
what temperature are tundra environments in winter?
-30C to -10C
what temperature are polar environments in winter?
-90C to -40C
how much rain do polar environments receive annually?
less than 100mm
how much rain do tundra environments receive annually?
less than 380mm
what temperature are tundra environments in summer?
what is the distribution of tundra environments?
found in the high latitudes (around 65 north and south of the equator) in areas such as Russia and Canada
what is the distribution of polar environments?
high latitudes near the poles in countries such as Greenland and Siberia
what plants are found in tundra environments?
low growing plants such as mosses, lichens and short grasses
what animals are found in tundra environments?
lemmings, wolves and reindeer
how have caribous adapted to survive in tundra environments?
1) short ears to avoid losing heat
2) double coat for insulation
3) large hooves for water logged ground
4) survive on a limited food in the winter
what plants are found in polar environments?
mosses and lichens on the fringes of the ice
what animals are found in polar environments?
polar bears, whales, seals and penguins
how have polar bears adapted to survive in polar environments?
1) white fur for camouflage
2) insulating layer of fat and thick coat for warmth
3) black nose and foot pads to absorb sunshine
how have arctic wolves adapted to survive in cold environments?
padded paws to grip the permafrost
how have arctic ground squirrels adapted to survive in cold environments?
hibernate in winter
how have plants generally adapted to survive in cold environments?
1) dormant in winter
2) shallow roots
3) grow in 50-60 days
4) use underground runners and bulbs as opposed to seeds to reproduce
how have arctic willow adapted to survive in cold environments?
small and round for protection from wind
how have bearberrys adapted to survive in cold environments?
small leaves and bright red berries for reproduction
how have snow buttercups and arctic poppies adapted to survive in cold environments?
produce flowers quickly
what are the issues relating to biodiversity in cold environments?
1) low biodiversity
2) changes have effects on all dependent species
3) global warming is causing species to move to the poles
4) arctic species are at real risk
why should pristine environments be protected?
1) scientists need access to undisturbed animal and plant species for their studies
2) home to indigenous people (e.g. Inuits)
3) very fragile environment (takes a long time to recover)
4) home to many endemic highly specialized species
5) contributes to Albedo affect and stores methane in permafrost
what is the albedo effect?
1) as ice melts it clears large areas of dark ocean
2) dark surfaces adsorb light unlike light surfaces which reflect it
3) the more ice melts, the more heat is absorbed, the hotter it gets and consequently the more ice melts
how can technology be used to protect cold environments?
1) modern construction methods can minimize environmental impacts (e.g. piles)
2) University of Alaska offers online degree courses
3) Two way conference calls in Alaska for healthcare and education
4) Alaska Native Knowledge Network is an online database focused on preserving Inuit culture
how can governments protect cold environments?
1) Wilderness Act (1964) protected wilderness areas from development including Alaska
2) Alaskan government banned oil exportation in the Alaska National Wilderness Reserve
how does the Antarctic Treaty protect cold environments?
Antarctic Treaty (1959) does the following:
1) limits tourism
2) stops nuclear activity
3) bans ships of more than 500 people
how does the arctic framework council protect cold environments?
Intergovernmental forum which represents 8 countries and indigenous populations. helps deliver sustainable development in the arctic regions
how do conservation groups protect cold environments?
1) the WWF in Canada helps to protect important species such as polar bears and narwhals, and works with local oil companies, Inuit organisations and government regulators to plan for a sustainable future
2) Greenpeace is calling for the Arctic to be a global sanctuary
Epping forest characteristics across the seasons
1) SPRING: flowering plants (producers) store nutrients to be eaten by consumers later
2) SUMMER: broad trees's leaves grow quickly to maximize photosynthesis
3) AUTUMN: trees shed leaves to conserve energy due to sunlight hours decreasing
4) WINTER: bacteria decompose the leaf litter releasing nutrients into the soil
what are the causes of deforestation in the Malaysian rainforest?
- Malaysia is the world's largest exporter of tropical wood
- logging requires construction of roads through the rainforest
2) ENERGY DEVELOPEMENT:
- $2bn Bakun Dam project flooded over 70,000 hectares of forest
- in past poor urban dwellers have been encouraged by the Gov to move to rural areas in order to reduce pressure on cities
- between 1956 and 1980 15,000 hectares of rainforest was cleared to make room
4) COMMERCIAL FARMING:
- Malaysia is one of the largest exporters of palm oil in the world
- plantation owners receive a 10 year tax break encouraging land to be converted into plantations
5) MINERAL EXTRACTION:
- tin and smelting is common in peninsular Malaysia
- drilling for oil and gas has started in Borneo
- forest cleared to make way for mining operation and roads
6) SUBSISTENCE FARMING:
- often clear forests using 'slash and burn' method which can start forest fires
what are the effects of deforestation in Malaysia?
1) ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT:
- gov has received over $2bn from logging
- timber sector contributed to 3.7% of Malaysia’s GNI in 2010
- Agriculture accounts for 15% of jobs
- HEP from Bakun Dam will provide cheap and plentiful energy
2) CLIMATE CHANGE:
- Trees give off moisture by transpiration so deforestation leads to a drier climate
- Rainforests are the ‘lungs of the earth’ so deforestation would increase rate of climate change
3) SOIL EROSION:
- Roots of trees and plants bind soil together so removal means that runoff increases
- Weakening of soil structure can lead to landslides
- 18% of over 2,000 endemic species are listed as endangered
- Palm oil plantations and drilling for gas and oil threatens the habitat of orangutans in Borneo
5) INDIGENOUS PEOPLE:
- Bakun Dam displaced 9,000 indigenous Kenyah people
- Indigenous people in cities tend to have drug and alcohol problems
what are the opportunities for development on Svalbard?
1) MINERAL EXTRACTION:
- New mine built in Svea in 2014
- Coal mining is the main economic activity in Svalbard
- Provides 300 jobs
- Coal mined in Svalbard and burned in the Longyearbyen Power Station
- Svalbard is located close to the North Atlantic ridge providing the possibility of geothermal energy
- Barents sea contains over 150 species of fish and the largest cod stock in the world
- In 2011, 70,000 people visited
- Tourism provides 300 jobs (employs 12% of the population)
what are the challenges of developing in Svalbard?
1) EXTREME TEMPERATURE:
- Reached below -30˚ in winter
Dangerous to work outside
Warm clothes inhibit fast progress
- Only one airport close to Longyearbyen which does international flights to Norway or Russia
- Only 50km of road in Longyearbyen
- Limited light in winter
- If permafrost melts buildings/roads can crack or collapse
- Water and other services provided by pipe that needs to be kept off the ground to prevent the thawing of permafrost
What is a possible impact if deforestation?
1) forests and habitats are destroyed
2) reduction and possible decimation of species
Why does the rate of deforestation vary between different countries?
1) level of development
2) population density
3) conservation measures
4) political stability
5) foreign investment