Ecosystems and rural environments

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  • Created on: 15-05-14 19:06
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Ecosystems and rural environments
Vocab
- Biosphere: contains all the world's plant and animal life
- Biodiversity: variety of life in the world/a particular habitat/ecosystem
- Biome: plant and animal community covering a large area of the Earth's surface
- Primary productivity: greatest amount of living matter produced by rainfall and high
temperatures
- Ecosystem: community of plants and animals that interact with each other and their physical
environment
Global biomes
- Forests (temperate deciduous/coniferous, tropical, boreal)
- Aquatic (marshes/swamps, coral reefs/oceans/lakes/rivers)
- Grassland (savanna, temperate)
- Tundra (arctic, alpine)
- Deserts (hot and dry, semi-arid, cold, coastal)
Factors affect ing biome locat ions
Latitude
- Biomes are controlled by climate, moisture availability and temperature
- As latitude turns negative, climate becomes hotter and wetter, apart from the continent of
Oceania which is quite dry
Solar radiation
-More intense at equator as at
poles, more area needs to be
heated with the same amount of
radiation radiation is diffused
around poles colder
-Radiation affects temperature
affects vegetation (which will
flourish, speed of growth), the
animal species (they eat the vegetation), how vegetation decomposes affects soil
Cooler Temperature Warmer
Higher Coniferous forest Deciduous forest Tropical forest
Moisture Tundra Mediterranean
Availability
Temperate grassland Savanna
Lower Desert

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Altitude
Temperature decreases as altitude increases mountains colder than lowlands (1ºC lost per
100m of height)
Prevailing winds and ocean currents
- Land heats faster in Summer and cools faster in Winter than the sea areas inland have
warmer Summers and cooler Winters than coastal areas
- Winds blowing from land (warmer than sea in Summer) in Summer or sea (warmer than land in
Winter) in Winter will raise temperatures
- Winds blowing from sea (cooler than land in Summer) in Summer or land (cooler…read more

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Ecosys tems
Physical components
- Water- rain or in soil
- Air- provides O and CO
- Solar energy- source of energy, light and heat
- Rocks- permeable or impermeable.…read more

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Recycling of nut rient s
Biomass
KEY Trees/organisms
Nutrients taken
Store die. Leaves fall Leaching some
up by plants
Nutrient nutrients lost
transfer
Input
Output Litter Soil
Weathering of
Plants/leaves parent rock and
Surface run-off decompose rainfall some
nutrients removed nutrients released nutrients added
Biomass
- =Total amount of organic matter in ecosystem
- Net Primary Production (NPP)= amount of vegetation produced in a region (measured in g/m²/
year).…read more

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Black/dark brown
- Found in middle latitudes of both crumb structure
hemispheres (e.g. Prairie in North
America, Pampas in Argentina, Steppe in Asia, B horizon often absent
Eastern Europe) in chernozems- only deep
- Account for 1.…read more

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Aquifers
What?
Water-bearing rock which readily transmits groundwater to wells and springs. Wells can be
drilled into them so water can be pumped out. Normally replenished/recharged by rainfall
Extracting water without a pump- artesian wells
Sometimes porous rock which has tilted into the earth is surrounded by a less porous rock both
above and below it (= confining rocks), keeping the water and pressure within the aquifer
confined.…read more

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Characteris t ics of rural environment s
Factor Characteristic
Landscape Open spaces, scattered settlements, farming, green spaces
Population density Low compared to urban areas (can be as high as in towns but in a
compartmentalised way in some parts of the world, e.g. Bangladesh)
Employment Largely primary sector (involves changing natural resources into
primary products)- farming, fishing, mining, forestry. Often poorly paid,
lack of employment due to mechanisation out migration to urban
areas
Inaccessibility Many areas remote, particularly mountainous, arid or forested
regions.…read more

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National Park Authorities advised by: national park officer, specialists in ecology/agriculture/
archeology, conservation
The Lake District (see case study sheet)
- Designated as National Park in 1951 (largest in England)
- Almost 16 million visitors per year who spend over £900 million per year (as of 2009)
- Tourists cause problems: footpath erosion, leaving farm gates open, trampling crops, traffic
congestion, pollution (most come by car), house prices rise as demand for second homes
increases locals can no longer afford housing
- Lake District NPA…read more

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Farming types
Arable (Crop growing) Pastoral (livestock rearing)
Market gardening (N.…read more

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Success Problems
Irrigated land yields 13 million tonnes of crops Water rapidly removed by high temperatures
(mainly rice) toxic salt pan left on soil surface ( overall
productivity + soil quality reduced)
Bangladesh almost entirely self-sufficient Too much irrigation water-logging, grain-spoil
Area capable of producing food has tripled Tapping groundwater sustainability
implications
Increasing crop product ion- High-yield variet ies- India
= seeds from crops that have been specially bred to more than double usual yield of crop
Reasons
- Monsoon season = 80% of rain…read more

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