Ecosystems and tropical Rainforest Revision

This is some revision information I've written to help a couple of my friends out with GCSE geography and I thought it'd be of use to others also. In this it mentions;

Ecosystems - inputs, outputs, processes etc.

Tropical rainforest - location, climate, soil composition, deforestation, shifting cultivation etc.

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  • Created by: Kathryn.C
  • Created on: 06-11-09 16:52
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Geography Revision
What exactly is an ecosystem?
An ecosystem is a habitat where animals and plants live and
interact with each other and their surroundings in order to
An example of a simple ecosystem;
In any type of ecosystem there are ALWAYS inputs, outputs and
processes occurring.
An example of inputs, outputs and processes is;
solar radiation photosynthesis water into rivers
water pollution tree clearance oxygen
insecticides reproduction timbers
air feeding minerals
rainfall decomposing evapotranspiration
««« feedback or recycling »»»
The Tropical Rainforest
The tropical rainforest is located on and around the earth's
equatorial line, and is home to around 15 million species of
animals and plants.
The tropical rainforests can be found in south America, Africa,
Indonesia and even in Australia.
The soil composition in the tropical rainforest is reddish and
clay-like which is acidic and low in nutrients. It is also old
because there has not been any recent volcanic activity around the

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The soil is largely devoid of minerals such as;
However, it is rich in aluminium oxide and iron oxide which gives
it its reddish or yellowish colour. The soil, as a result, can be
toxic in high amounts.
The climate in the tropical rainforest is hot and moist. The mean
monthly temperature of 17.8°c with the precipitation normally
in excess of 100 inches annually.…read more

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The Types of Rainfall
There are three different types of rainfall, these are;
Convectional rainfall ­ hot air rises.
Frontal rainfall ­ a warm front meets with a cold front.
Relief rainfall ­ warm air is forced to rise up over mountains
and hills.
Air rises and cools and condensation occurs (water vapour
condenses) to form tiny droplets of water, that forms rainfall.
When the droplets are dense enough they fall as rain.
Factors that affect temperature;
- latitude.…read more

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The tribal groups ­ Amerindians ­ use stone axes and
machetes to fell about one hectare of forest. Also any
undergrowth has to be cleared immediately.
The felled trees are dried and then burned, the burning of the
felled trees helps to provide the soil with nutrients as the ash
from burning is spread over the soil. This is known as 'slash and
The causes of deforestation
Deforestation is a serious thing.…read more

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Soil composition - the percent of mineral particles present in the
soil (percent sand, silt, loam, and/or clay).
Climate - he weather in some location averaged over some long
period of time.
Precipitation - the quantity of water falling to earth at a specific
place within a specified period of time.
Convectional rainfall - When moist warm air rises, condensing
at higher altitudes and falling where the evaporation has occurred.…read more

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Subsistence - Subsistence is the action or fact of maintaining or
supporting oneself at a minimum level.
Manioc - A shrubby tropical American plant (Manihot esculenta)
ideally grown for its large, tuberous, starchy roots.
Yams - sweet potato with deep orange flesh that remains moist
when baked.
Supplement - something added to make up for a lack or
Tapir - a large browsing mammal, roughly pig-like in shape, with
a short,prehensile snout.
Environment - the area in which something exists or lives.…read more


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