Tropical Rainforest

Bigass spider diagram, has the threats on too

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  • Tropical Rainforest
    • Rainforest resources
      • Timber for construction of buildings or furniture
      • Fuel
      • Plant foods such as bananas, oranges, yams, grapefruit, coffee and cacao
      • Bushmeat (eaten by local population
      • Spices like pepper and cinnamon
      • Palm leaves for rooding material
      • Traditional medicines
      • Fibres
      • Resins for incense
    • Biodiversity
      • Wide variety of life makes for a more stable ecosystem more resistant to change
      • Ecotourism helps as generates income without destroying forest
    • Carbon sequestration
      • The standing biomass of forests is a large store of carbon
      • Forest growth removes carbon from the armosphere in the form of CO2 during photosynthesis
    • Rainfall
      • The trees put back water into the atmosphere by transpiration
      • If removed more of the rainfall would flow directly back to the sea and reduce rainfall downwind
    • Threats
      • Fuelwood
        • Used in LEDCs in mainly rural areas
        • Wood cut down and burnt insted of having to pay a lot
        • Usually unsustainable with little replanting
      • Timber for construction and furniture
        • Sometimes only addordable construction material available.
        • Used to build houses and to make furniture
        • Rainforest timber exported to other countries
      • Slash and burn
        • Burning the forest to be cleared
        • Forest then farmed for a few years until nutrient depletion
        • Site then abandoned as a new clearing is created elsewhere
      • Mineral extraction
        • Short-term needs for LEDC economies
        • Can result in destruction of forests to exploit the minerals
      • Reservoirs
        • Hydro-electric power schemes can flood rainforests
        • Decaying dead organic matter can produce anaerobic acidic water harming downstream river life
        • Rates at which water is let out can damage life e.g. lizards and river turtles
      • Grobal climate change
        • Higher temps increase ability of the air to hold water vapour so rain may be less likely to form
        • Many small orchids become rarer as humidity declines
        • Loss of one species to a food web affecting all other species that rely on one and other
        • Predictions suggest the Amazon will gradually be replaced by savannah grassland


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