How much is left of the tropical monsoon forest biome, and where is it found?
Parts of southeast Asia, which experience a tropical monsoon climate.
1900 - monsoon forest was the main vegetation type.
21st century - most has been removed by human activity.
India - only 7% of the original forest remains.
Where in the world is the tropical monsoon forest biome still well developed?
Burma, inland from the coast.
Thailand, Laos, north Vietnam and Cambodia.
Geographical region vegetation varies with latitude - moon forest vegetation gives way to other types of vegetation on higher land.
Also mangrove forests, along coastlines around river deltas and creeks.
Where are similar vegetation characteristics of a tropical monsoon forest biome found?
Northern Australia and Madagascar.
However there are lower annual rainfall totals there, meaning that savanna-type vegetation is more likely to exist there instead.
Bangladesh - natural vegetation was TRF despite it lying in a tropical monsoon climate - presence of rivers meant that there was no seasonal shortage of water for vegetation.
What is the temperature of a tropical monsoon forest biome like?
High temperatures throughout the year.
19-30C due to its location in the tropics.
What is the precipitation of a tropical monsoon forest biome like?
Typically high annual rainfall totals, with a marked dry season.
May-October - winds blow in from he oceans (southwest), bringing with them exceptionally moist air and heavy rainfall.
For the rest of the year, it’s blowing in the opposite direction (northeast) - drier periods.
What is the soil of a tropical monsoon forest biome like?
Typically lateritic (latosol) - similar qualities of TFR soil Months of water surplus - leaching of bases and silica - very little humus is allowed to develop in the top layers.
What is the vegetation distribution of a tropical monsoon forest biome like?
More open than TFR - not as continuous.
Smaller trees - 12-35m high - incomplete cover.
Less light competition - greater vegetation development (evergreens) at lower levels.
Dense areas - bamboo growth - ‘jungle’.
Dense - fewer tree species e.g. 40 per hectare, compared to TRF 200.
What is the vegetation of a tropical monsoon forest biome like?
Sal, pyinkado, teak - economically valuable.
NO buttress roots.
DO have large round tree crowns - more branching to their lower trunk.
Thick/rough bark - harsh climate of the dry season.
Plants/trees flower in the dry period - fruit in the wet.
Deciduous trees form the upper layer - shed leaves due to lack of moisture (reduces transpiration in dry).
Allows light through to forest floor - development of dense undergrowth.
Epiphytes - orchids/lianas - fewer in number.
What are the characteristics of a mangrove forest?
Developed along coastal areas protected from wave action e.g. deltas, Bangladesh. Saline environments (where fine sediments with high organic content are deposited), give rise to the dense tree network. Massive interlocking root systems. Adapted to survive in anaerobic (no air) conditions.
What is an example of a mangrove forest?
E.g. Bay of Bengal - mangrove forest
Protects the land from cyclones and storm surges during the wet monsoon season.
Provides a habitat for marine crustaceans.
What types of animal species live in the monsoon/mangrove forest biome?
Royal Bengal tiger - only 300 left. Indian elephant. Leopard, rhinoceros, crocodile and wild bear. Birds - peacocks and black partridge. Fish - dolphins and turtles. - some endangered due to hunting -
How has deforestation affected the monsoon biome?
Fragile ecosystems - hard recovery for food webs.
Southeast Asia’s mangrove forests over the last 25 years - faster than the TRF loss.
FAO - 20% of the 1980s mangrove forest have been destroyed through coastal development of shrimp fishing/tourism/timber and charcoal.
How has population pressure affected the monsoon biome?
Lowland forest cleared for agricultural land/fuelwood e.g. timber and teak.
Only 7% of the original monsoon forest still exists - in small fragmented parcels.
Makes it difficult for animals to follow their migratory patterns.
Only 300 Royal Bengal tigers left.
Despite ‘Protected Area’ statuses/National Parks - damage may be irreversible.