2.2.a Amazon TRF

  • Created by: lee8444
  • Created on: 05-02-20 12:09

Current WC (1)


  • Dominated by hardwood trees
  • Average annual rainfall over 2000mm
  • Rainfall evenly distributed throughout the year
  • High-intensity convectional rainfall
  • Trees intercept 10% of rainfall


  • High rates due to high volumes of precipitation, humidity and dense vegetation
  • Strong precipitation-evapotranspiration feedback loop
  • 50% of rainfall is returned in this way


  • Rapid run-off due to high, intense rainfall
  • Well drained soils
  • River discharge peaks for 2 months per year
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Current WC (2)


  • High temperature enables the atmosphere to store large quantities of water
  • Absolute humidity is high
  • Relative humidity is also high


  • Abundant rainfall
  • Deep tropical soils
  • Significant amount of storage


  • Trees store water for respiration
  • Released via transpiration
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Current CC

  • Humid environment is perfect for vegetation growth
  • NPP = 2.5kg per metre squared per year
  • Biomass = 400-700 tonnes per hectare
  • The Amazon absorbs around 2.4 billion tonnes of carbon every year
  • Rapid exchange between different stores within the carbon store
  • Conditions cause quick rates of decomposition releasing carbon into the atmosphere
  • Leached and acidic soils have a limited amount of nutrients as biomass takes up all available nutrients extremely quickly
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Physical factors impacting the WC


  • Impermeable catchments due to ancient crystalline rock structure with a low water storage capability. This causes rapid run-off
  • Permeable and porous rocks such as limestone can store some rainwater. This results in a slower run-off

Relief (Slope)

  • Most of the Amazon is extensive lowlands
  • Overland flow when in areas with gentle relief
  • Throughflow into streams and rivers
  • The Andes to the West creates steep catchments creating a fast run-off
  • Extensive floodplains caused by flat land


  • Leads to high amounts of evapotranspiration
  • High amounts of convection leading to high atmospheric humidity
  • More intense precipitation and thunderstorms
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Physical factors impacting the CC

  • Forest tress dominate biomass and are the largest of the carbon stores
  • Approximately 100 billion tonnes or carbon is stored in the Amazon
  • Absorbes 2.4 billion tonnes of carbon every year and releases 1.7 billion tonnes through decomposition
  • Photosynthesis locks carbon in from the atmosphere
  • Leaf litter and dead organic matter accumulates in the Amazon's soils
  • High temperatures lead to rapid decomposition by saprobionts such as bacteria
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Human factors impacting the WC

  • Deforestation at a rate of 17,500 km squared per year between 1970 and 2013
  • Since 1970, 20% of the natural Amazon has been destroyed or degraded
  • Rates of deforestation have decreased in recent years
  • April 2014 - Devestating floods along the madeira river
    • 19.68m above normal level in some places
    • 68,000 evacuated
    • 60 dead
    • Outbreaks of cholera
    • Due to humans removing trees north of the flooding decreasing the stores of water and increasing run-off. Effects increased due to steep slopes of the Andes
  • Changes on both local and national scale
  • Rainforest to grasslands increased run-off by a factor of 27
  • Trees are crucial for extracting moisture from soil, intercepting rain and releasing water into the atmosphere through evapotranspiration
  • Predictions say that precipitation will decrease by 20% regionally drying out the rainforest into grasslands
  • This will cause massive implications downwind too
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Human factors impacting the CC

  • In unaffected rainforest, tree biomass represents 60% of the carbon stored
  • Deforestation is exhausting this store
  • Deforestation is reducing the inputs of carbon into litter and soil impacting the trees around it
  • Land without the trees supports other organisms so other species migrate to areas with more trees increasing competition between species
  • Soils without the protective covering from trees are quickly eroded away by aeolian processes
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Parica Project in Rondonia

  • Aims to develop 1000km squared of commercial timber on government-owned deforested land
  • 20 million fast-growing hardwood seeds
  • 4000 smallholdings
  • 25 year period
  • Financial assistance is provided to the smallholdings for preperation, planting and maintainance
  • Tree nurseries provide the with the seedlings
  • Timber will be exported along the river
  • Monoculture - Less biodiversity
  • Sustainable and sequesters carbon into the trees and soil
  • Reduced the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere
  • Re-establishes water and carbon cycles
  • Reduces run-off
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Surui Tribe

  • Prevent illegal logging
  • Reforest degraded ares from the last 40 years
  • Plant local seedlings in deforested areas
  • Species that are chosen provide them with timber, food and a sustainable source of income
  • First to join the UN's REDD scheme
  • This gives them payment as companies who are more carbon efficient recieve carbon credits allowing them to buy off the Surui tribe
  • In 2013, Natura, Latin America's largest cosmetics seller, purchased 120,000 tonnes of carbon credits from the tribe
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Improved agricultural techniques

  • Farming is the main cause of deforestation
  • Low fertility of soil has caused the farming cultivation to not be sustainable
  • After a few years, farmers move as the land is no longer suitable fo the cattle and crops
  • Large parts of the rainforest are set on fire during slash and burn causing the land to be degraded very quickly
  • Soil fertility can be maintained by not having a monoculture
  • Rotational cropping also maintains soil fertility
  • Dark soils made from charcoal can be used to attract microorganisms resparking the carbon cycle
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