Battle for the Biosphere

A quick summary of the key points, hope it's helpful :)

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  • Created by: Rebecca
  • Created on: 13-05-11 19:27

Definition of Biome and Map

A biome is an large ecosystem in which different plants and animal interact naturally

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Different Biomes

  • Polar
  • Tundra
  • Temperate Deciduous Forest
  • Temperate Coniferous Forest
  • Mediterranean
  • Temperate Grasslands
  • Tropical Grasslands (Savanna)
  • Tropical Rainforest
  • Hot desert

There are 9 major biomes situated across the world

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Tropical Rainforest

  • Situated 5 degrees either side of the equator
  • Sunlight concentrated over small area so higher temperatures (25C)
  • Low pressure zone so high precipitation (2000mm)
  • Dense vegetation due to water and sunlight (photosynthesis)
  • Kapok tree, bamboo, banana trees
  • 50% of world's species: monkeys, flying squirrel, tree frog, snakes
  • South America, Asia, Africa
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Tundra

  • Mainly in the northern hemisphere, encircling the north pole
  • Also in the sub-antarctic islands and in mountainous regions
  • Sunlight is spread over larger area so it tends to be cooler (average = -10 degrees)
  • Distance from equator causes large seasonal variation       (-34 to 12 degrees)
  • High pressure zone means little rainfall (200mm)
  • Very windy
  • Low shrubs, mosses, liverworts, grasses
  • Lichen and 400 varieties of flowers
  • Lemmings, voles, hares, bears, foxes
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Factors affecting the location of a biome

  • Latitude:
    • Sunlight: nearer the equator means that sunlight is more concentrated
    • Temperature: nearer the equator means that heat is more concentrated
  • Precipitation: low pressure zones have higher precipitation
  • Soil fertility: some soil contains more minerals than others
  • Altitude: 200m rise in altitude = 1C decrease in temperature
  • Continentality: nearer the coast means greater wind chill factor. Water retains heat for longer so coastal regions are warmer in winter but cooler in summer.
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What goods does the biosphere provide?

  • Foods from animals: meat, milk, eggs
  • Foods from plants: cereals, vegetables, fruits, nuts
  • Products from animals: leather, feathers, fur
  • Products from plants: cotton, paper, gums, resins, oils
  • Medicines
  • Building materials: slate, granite
  • Fossil fuels: oil, gas, coal
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What services does the biosphere provide?

  • Maintains soil health (decomposition of waste)
  • Regulates oxygen and carbon dioxide balance
  • Reduces global warming
  • Leisure activities: go ape
  • Tourism: rainforests
  • Employment: rangers, tourist guides
  • Shelter
  • Regulating the hydrological cycle (interception, storage etc.)
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How do human activities interfere with the Amazon

  • Deforestation causes:
    • Less interception
    • More surface run-off
    • No roots to hold soil = siltation
    • Flooding
    • Less groundwater
    • Reduced soil fertility
    • Fewer resources for future generations
    • Loss of wildlife habitats
  • Why does deforestation occur?
    • Cattle ranching: TNCs export meat to MEDCs
    • Accommodation: to locate the growing Brazilian population
    • Logging: to export wood to MEDCs for furniture
    • Conversion to farmland: to cater for the growing population
    • HEP: to generate more energy
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How do humans harm the biosphere?

  • Pollution
  • Agriculture
  • Mining
  • Deforestation
  • Acid rain
  • Hunting
  • Urbanisation
  • Global warming

... it almost makes the acronym PANDA HUG! :)

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Large-scale Management Strategies

  • RAMSAR
    • Operates in 147 countries
    • Intergovermental treaty
    • Established in 1971
    • These areas support 30% of fish species
    • Promote sustainable use of wetland areas
    • Protect living organisms in the areas
    • Can encourage tourism and increase house prices in the area
  • CITES
    • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species
    • Established in 1963
    • Operates in 175 countries
    • 30,000 species of animals and plants are listed
    • It protects animals from extinction e.g. leopards, panthers, giant pandas
  • Community Forests
    • UK scheme established in 1994
    • 12 forests across the UK around cities e.g. Sherwood
    • Aims to reduce effects of global warming, protect wildlife habitats and also provide leisure and employment opportunities
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Small-scale Management Strategies

  • UK Biodiversity Action Plans
    • Established in 1992
    • Goal: To conserve and enhance biological diversity within the UK and contribute to the conservation of global diversity through all appropriate mechanisms.
    • The involve local communities in small-scale schemes e.g. planting trees.This is similar to community forest, however on a much smaller scale
    • They aim to use resources sustainably
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