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1. Tropical Rainforest
Large seasonal changes (equatorial) = biological productivity
Stability = time for varied evolution = high biodiversity
Specialised biotic factors & unspecialised abiotic factors
Inter-relations >> nutrient supply & in micro-climates (light, temp, humidity)
High but varied levels of light = Dense Vegetation (adapted to layers)
RESOURCES - Timber, fuel, food, spices, construction materials, medicine components, fibres, palm
BIODIVERSITY abundance and variety of life = stable ecosystem = (eco)tourism, education
CARBON SEQUESTRATION The storing of carbon in lignin (wood) and removal by
SOIL CONSERVATION Poor soils rely on protection & binding from vegetation
1. Unsustainable Exploitation of Forest Resources
2. Forest Removal for Alternative Land Uses
3. Indirect Threats from other Activities
>> Fuelwood for LEDC natives
>> Timber LEDC areas = only affordable construction material & used in export, plantation growth.
>> Agriculture Increased pop = increased food demand
Slash and burn farming creating a clearing which is farmed until nutrient depletion = sustainable only
with small pop.
Commercial Farming = unsustainable > low quality soils = decreased yield & difficult vegetation
>> Mineral Extraction Rich mineral resources in tropics e.g. Cahorabassa Dam, Brazil
>> Reservoirs HEP schemes = flooding & barriers to aquatic creatures. Anaerobic conditions of decay = acidic &
>> CLIMATE CHANGE increased temp = increased water held in air = decreased rainfall
Decreased humidity = decreased frog, toad, orchid numbers (golden toad disappeared 1991)
Debt-for-Nature (Conservation) Swaps
MEDC lends money so that it may be invested in environmental things, instead of being repaid.
D4N swap = conservation charity paying bank to pay off LEDC debt & protecting area of rainforest.
The Rio Bravo Rainforest Reserve, Belize, Central America
o 260,000 acres of rainforest, managed by charity Programme for Belize (PfB)
o Mostly paid for by US+UK governments, also companies looking to offset CO2
o Protects many species incl. Jaguar, Tapir, Ocelot, 400 bird species.
o Funded by ecotourism, sustainable logging and donations
o Supports local pop through employment, timber & souvenir industries &
3. Trade Controls
- Trade cannot be banned, but should be controlled to limit only to sustainability (fair prices to
- Honduras Mahogany is on CITES Appendix II, so is restricted.
2. Coral Reefs
>> Limestone ecosystem produced by millions of coral polyps *diagram*
Coral Nutrition: Cilia trap planktonic organisms, sting/kill them, and waft into the gut. Other food
from symbiotic algae.
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Abiotic Conditions: Stable temp (25-9®), Bright sunlight, Low turbidity (less sediment), Constant
IMPORTANCE OF CORAL REEFS
Support ¼ of all marine species
Substances can be used in medicine development
Food sources high variety of life
Protection as wave breakers
Calcium Carbonate produces can use carbon sequestration to lock away C and combat climate
Provide opportunities for (eco)tourism
Physical damage which exceeds the sensitive polyps' regeneration rate
Sediments settling on reefs kill polyps.…read more
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>> Only polar land mass
LARGE! 60x UK
98% covered by ice up to 4.…read more