1.4 - Conservation Abroad

Comprehensive Notes from Chapter Four of the Nelson Thornes Textbook.

Case studies: Tropical Rainforests and the Rio Bravo Nature Reserve; Coral Reefs and The Crown Of Thorns Starfish; Antarctica and The British Antarctic Survey/ The Antarctic Treaty.

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  • Created on: 21-12-11 14:39
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1.
4 Conser
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Abr
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1. Tropical Rainforest
ECOLOGICAL FEATURES
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)
IMPORTANCE
RESOURCES - Timber, fuel, food, spices, construction materials, medicine components, fibres, palm
oil...
BIODIVERSITY ­ abundance and variety of life = stable ecosystem = (eco)tourism, education
ECONOMICS
CARBON SEQUESTRATION ­ The storing of carbon in lignin (wood) and removal by
photosynthesis
SOIL CONSERVATION ­ Poor soils rely on protection & binding from vegetation
THREATS
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
succession
>> 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 &
methane.
>> CLIMATE CHANGE ­ increased temp = increased water held in air = decreased rainfall
Decreased humidity = decreased frog, toad, orchid numbers (golden toad disappeared 1991)
CONSERVATION
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.
Protected Areas
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 &
conservation/tourism.
3. Trade Controls
- Trade cannot be banned, but should be controlled to limit only to sustainability (fair prices to
locals)
- Honduras Mahogany is on CITES Appendix II, so is restricted.
2. Coral Reefs
>> Limestone ecosystem produced by millions of coral polyps *diagram*
ECOLOGICAL FEATURES
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
salinity (osmotic)
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
change
Provide opportunities for (eco)tourism
THREATS
Physical damage which exceeds the sensitive polyps' regeneration rate
Sediments settling on reefs kill polyps.…read more

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Antarctica
>> Only polar land mass
PHYSICAL FEATURES
LARGE! 60x UK
98% covered by ice up to 4.…read more

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