Flashcards in Component 3 Topic 8 Deck (26):
How are rainforests interdependent?
The biotic and abiotic components of the rainforest all rely on each other in some way. For example, the warm snd wet climate means plants can grow quickly. The dense leaf cover then protects the forest floor form wind and heavy rainfall, thus preventing erosion.
How are plants adapted to the hot, wet climate?
Many plants have different adaptations to survive depending on which layer they are situated in within the rainforest. (E.g. buttress roots, epiphytes, lianas and drip tip leaves)
What is meant by stratified layers?
These are the layers that make up the rainforest. The rainforest is made up of the shrub layer, under canopy, main canopy and the emergents. These stratified layers affects how much sunlight gets to each level of vegetation.
What are buttress roots?
Buttress roots are large and very wide roots that support the tallest trees in the rainforest (emergents).
What are drip tip leaves?
These are thick and waxy leaves that allow the plant to shed and release water quickly therefore preventing themselves from rotting.
How are animals adapted to survive in the rainforest?
Many animals such as monkeys and sloths have strong claws and long arms and tails to support them when climbing through the upper layers of the canopy where most of the food is. Big cats also have camouflaged fur to keep them hidden as they sneak up on their prey. Big cats also have strong claws to help them climb.
Why do tropical rainforests have a high rate of nutrient cycling?
Nutrients are cycled quickly as the ecosystem is working all year round. In other words the year is a growing season. Trees are evergreen so they drop leaves and grow them all year round. The constant warm and moist climate means dead organisms decompose quickly, thus releasing nutrients back to the soil. Rapid growth occurs due to the amount of nutrients and warm climate.
How are the biotic and abiotic components of the taiga interdependent?
Similarly to the rainforest plants gain their nutrients from the soil and then provide nutrients for the animals that eat them. In turn animals spread seeds through their dung, helping the plants to reproduce. Herbivores rely on plants to eat and carnivores follow the herbivores.
Why are taiga trees cone shaped?
They are cone shaped to help shed snow quickly so the branches don't break. The branches are also quite bendy so they are less likely to snap.
Why do taiga trees have needles instead of leaves?
The need,es help reduce water loss from strong, cold winds because they have a low surface area.
Why are taiga conifers evergreen?
They are evergreen so they can make the best use of the limited availability of light.
How do migratory animals survive in the taiga forest?
Many large animals, such as caribou, are migratory because they need to travel long distances in order to find suitable food that isn't always available all year round dud to the cold weather and the short growing season.
Why does the taiga have lower productivity than the rainforest.
Taiga have slow nutrient cycling, therefore very slow plant growth due to the cold climate. Even though trees are evergreen the cold temperatures mean that the dropped needles decompose slowly. This means the soil is very infertile and nutrient poor.
Why is climate change an indirect threat to the health of the tropical rainforest?
Climate change impacts the rainforest because temperature is increasing but rainfall is decreasing therefore causing drought. Droughts lead to ecosystem stress as plants are adapted to the moist wet conditions not dry conditions, meaning they will likely die. Droughts can also cause forest fires, destroying much of the rainforest.
How does commercial hardwood logging contribute to deforestation? (Rainforest)
Large companies exploit the rainforests resources to produce a profit. In this case they cut down large areas of trees which will then be produced into furniture and used for production. Road building is also required to transfer logs meaning more trees need to be cut down.
How does electricity (hep) contribute to deforestation? (Rainforest)
Many tropical rainforests have large rivers and huge dams are built to generate hydroelectric power. However this causes large areas of the rainforest to be flooded.
How does the demand for biofuels contribute to deforestation? (Rainforest)
Increasing population mean increase in demand for fuel . Biofuels are made from plants. Growing crops for biofuels requires a lot of land and trees often need to be cut down to produce space.
How does subsistent farming contribute to deforestation? (Rainforest)
Forest is cleared so farmers can grow food doe themselves and their families.
How does commercial farming contribute to deforestation? (Rainforest)
Forests are cleared by large companies to make space doe cattle grazing and huge palm oil plantations.
How does acid rain contribute to a loss of biodiversity?
Burning fossil fuels releases dangerous gases into the atmosphere. They dissolve in water and turn into acids. When it rains the acids damage plants' leaves, making it harder for them to cope in the cold. Soils also may become too acidic to support growth of organisms.
How do forest fires contribute to a loss of biodiversity?
Fires destroy trees and plants. Habitats and food for animals is destroyed.
How do pests and diseases contribute to a loss of biodiversity?
Many pests and diseases are specific to one species. As there is very little amount tree species in the taiga it is easy for pests to spread and cause a lot of damage. Hot weather from climate change is increasing the number pf pests.
Advantages of CITES (convention on international trade in endangered species of wild fauna and flora)
It protects endangered species of fauna all over the world. It has had many successes over the years.
Disadvantages of CITES
Does not tackle deforestation, only animals. Does not protect animals in poverty stricken countries where large funding is required. Only helps well known cuddly animals which are recognised. Animals need to be under threat in order to be protected.
What is REDD and why is it needed?
REDD is a united nations project looking to prevent deforestation. REDD prevents deforestation in the Amazon rainforest by creating a border around an area of forest that cannot be touched by the public. It also helps local communities by educating them in sustainable farming.