The Soils of the Tropical Equatorial Rainforest

Refers to AQA A2 Geography

Ecosystems: Change and Challenge Option

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  • Tropical Equatorial Rainforests - Soils
    • ZONAL SOIL
      • In an undisturbed biome soil develops naturally over time, in balance with its environment.
      • The soil is mature and strongly reflects the climate and vegetation.
      • In a tropical rainforest, the soil is known as LATOSOL
        • Can be more than 40m deep
        • The hot-wet climate provides perfect conditions for the chemical weathering of bedrock so there is a constant supply of minerals from the parent rock to the soil.
          • FERRAL - LISATION is the process by which the bedrock is broken down by chemical weathering into clay minerals and sesquiosides.
    • In a tropical rainforest, the soil is known as LATOSOL
      • Can be more than 40m deep
      • The hot-wet climate provides perfect conditions for the chemical weathering of bedrock so there is a constant supply of minerals from the parent rock to the soil.
        • FERRAL - LISATION is the process by which the bedrock is broken down by chemical weathering into clay minerals and sesquiosides.
    • WEATHERING OF BEDROCK
      • COLOUR
        • Red in colour, partly due to the presence of iron and aluminium minerals
      • NUTRIENTS
        • As rainfall exceeds evapo - transpiration, there is a downward motion of water through the soil.
          • Silica minerals are washed out by a process known as LEACHING
          • The less soluble iron and aluminium compounds are left behind in the leaching process, hence why the red colour is so dominent.
            • Red in colour, partly due to the presence of iron and aluminium minerals
        • The latosoil is NUTRIENT POOR.
          • Uptake of nutrients is roughly equal to the input from decomposed litter.
          • As soon as fallen organic matter/ litter layer is absorbed into humus, it is absorbed by growing vegetation.

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