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Slide 1

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Key words and definitions
Biodiversity great number of Savanna grasslands mixed
plants and animals living in an grasses and trees in the
ecosystem ( rainforest) tropics (Kenya)
Coniferous woodland forests Slash and burn clearing of
consisting of species of the forest by subsistence
conifers such as pine and farmers for cultivation
spruce. (evergreen trees) Soil loose material below
Ecosystem includes the living the surface, which is a
communities of plants and mixture of minerals,
animals and physical elements organic material, air and
upon which they depend, such water
as climate and soil
Tropical rain forests dense
Hydrology water movements jungle which grows in hot,
both on the surface and wet climates near the
underground equator…read more

Slide 2

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Key idea 1 ­ different ecosystems can be identified
Definition of an ecosystem Climate
This is a living community of
plants and animals and the
physical factors upon which
they depend, such as climate
and soil. Animals
Climate goes at the top because
on a world scale this is the most
important factor. It determines
the nature and extent of the
vegetation cover and its soil
The arrows show that some of
the relationships are two way. However, vegetation also effects the climate. Leaves release
For example vegetation is Water into the atmosphere by transpiration, which provides
strongly affected by the climate Moisture for more rain. There is evidence in some tropical
because plants can't grown Areas where the vegetation has been cleared, that the rainfall
without hear and water. Is lower than it used to be…read more

Slide 3

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The world distribution of ecosystems and the reasons for it
Although all plants need hear and water for growth, they are not
needed in the same amounts. Vegetation in tropical rain forests
needs plenty of both heat and water. This is why these forests
are distributed around the equator.
Summary of the Equatorial climate
Hot all year (27° average)
Wet all year
High total annual rainfall 2000mm
The climate in the temperate continental interiors, mainly between 50° and
60° north of the equator where coniferous trees grow, is very different.
Summary of the temperate continental climate Only few types of tree, such as pine and spruce,
can survive the cold winter temperatures and
Very cold winters ( well below 0°) with strong cold winds grow in the short summer. There is no
biodiversity here, stretching for hundreds of
kilometres, the forests look the same
Short warm summers ( 17°)
Low annual precipitation under 500mm…read more

Slide 4

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Between the rainforests and the hot deserts are
the savanna or tropical grasslands. The
vegetation is adapted to a marked drought
season so there are mainly grasses with the
occasional tree and shrub
Summary of the savanna climate
Hot all year ( 25° to 35 °)
Rainfall totals vary ( 500-1000mm)
Marked season of drought…read more

Slide 5

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The characteristics of
Coniferous woodlands Coniferous trees Podsol soils
Evergreen Conical shape Decaying pine needles and
One layer of trees Downward sloping cones on the surface
Only one or two types of tree Needle leaves Dark narrow layer of humus
Dark with the trees growing Thick bark ( to keep warm) Grey layer forming the
close together Shallow roots
Reddish brown layer
Think mat of dead needles
forming the top of the
on the forest floor
Orange yellow layer forming
the rest of the horizon…read more

Slide 6

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It is possible to identify 5 characteristics of coniferous trees and
woodlands to show how they are adapted to the climate.
Conical shape they are flexible and bend in the strong winds
Downward sloping branches snow slides off them more quickly
Needle leaves water loss by transpiration is reduced
Thick bark protects the tree from the great winter cold
Evergreen summers are short and growth must begin as quickly as
possible when it is warm enough
The main effect of climate on the formation of the podsol soil is that
precipitation is greater than evapo-transpiration.
Vegetation also affects soil formation. Needles
Meaning that from the conifers decay slowly. They add little
humus to trap minerals and stop them from
Water drains downward through the soil being washed downwards
The water carries organic materials and minerals
Iron and clay are leached ( washed out) leaving it grey colour
Irons and clays are re-deposited at the top of the B horizon making it reddish
brown.…read more

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