Geography GCSE: UNIT 1A – The Living World

Notes on The Living World

HideShow resource information
  • Created by: Iqra H
  • Created on: 09-06-12 17:16
Preview of Geography GCSE: UNIT 1A – The Living World

First 359 words of the document:

UNIT 1A ­ The Living World
An ecosystem is a community of living organisms (plants and animals) sharing an environment. The largest
ecosystems are called biomes.
A decomposer is an organism that gets its energy by breaking down dead material. Bacteria and fungi are decomposers.
A change to one part of an ecosystem has an impact on other parts:
· Hot, dry summers reduced plant growth fewer berries for birds number of sparrows and threshers fall
fewer birds for sparrowhawks to hunt, so the number of sparrowhawks falls.
World Ecosystems:
Tropical forests are found near the equator in Central and South America, parts of Africa and Asia. They are hot and
humid and contain a huge variety of plants and animals - around half of the entire world's species. The trees are mostly
hardwood. The climate is called equatorial.
Desert is the driest and hottest of areas. The world's largest desert is the Sahara in North Africa. Areas of scrub land that
border the desert are called desert scrub.
Temperate deciduous forests contain trees that lose their leaves and are found across Europe and USA. The weather is
mild and wet. The climate is called temperate maritime.
Areas ­ Central America, north and east South America (the
Amazon), central Africa and south east Asia.
Climate ­ Hot, wet climates with no definite seasons
Soil ­ Isn't very fertile as heavy rain wash nutrients away.
Hot, Wet Climates have Tropical Rainforests
Plants adaptations:
· Adapted to heavy rainfall ­ thick waxy leaves with
pointed tip (drip-tips)
· Tall trees have buttress roots to support their
· The trees are deciduous ­ they drop their leaves in
drier periods to reduce water loss.
· Climbing plants use the tree trunks to climb to
reach light.
Areas ­ North Africa, the Middle East, south west USA, large
parts of Australia.
Climate ­ Very little rainfall. Temperature varies during day /
Soil ­ Shallow, gravelly texture.
Vegetation structure ­ plant growth is sparse due to little

Other pages in this set

Page 2

Preview of page 2

Here's a taster:

Hot, Dry Climates have Hot Deserts
Plant adaptations:
· Roots are either very long to reach water or spread
out to catch as much water as possible when it
· Cacti have swollen stems to store water. Thick,
waxy skin to reduce water loss.
· Cacti and some bushes have small, spiky leaves to
reduce water loss.
Areas ­ Most of Europe, south east USA, China, Japan.
Climate ­ Four seasons.…read more

Page 3

Preview of page 3

Here's a taster:

There are five main causes for deforestation:
· Cleared for subsistence farms or commercial cattle ranches.
· Vegetation is cut down and left to dry so it can be burnt ("slash and burn" technique)
Commercial logging
· To make money.
Population pressure
· Increase in population results to needing more space, so trees are cut down to make space.
Road building
· Increase in settlement and industry so more roads need to be built.…read more

Page 4

Preview of page 4

Here's a taster:

Reducing Demand for Hardwood · There is a high demand of hardwood from
consumers like Mahogany.
· This suggests that hardwood is becoming rare to
find as people are chopping them down.
· Strategies to reduce the demand for hardwood
include heavily taxing imported hardwood or
banning its sale.
Education · Some local people don't know the environmental
impacts of deforestation ­ they often try to make
money in the short-term to overcome poverty by
illegal logging.…read more

Page 5

Preview of page 5

Here's a taster:

However, sustainable management strategies are being used such as:
Deforested areas are being replanted.
Some companies are reducing the amount of hardwood trees felled.
Ecotourism is being popular (E.G. ­ Madre de Dios region, Peru)
Most countries have environmental laws.
Kalahari Desert: Botswana, Zimbabwe, Namibia & South Africa. Area of 260,000 km
It gets very little rainfall, approx. 200 mm per year.
Boteti River ­ only permanent river, however, temporary streams are created after rainfall.…read more


No comments have yet been made

Similar Geography resources:

See all Geography resources »See all resources »