This set of cards is based on the structure of trees in the rainforest.

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  • Created by: Ella
  • Created on: 25-10-11 12:35

Tree Structure

Tree (

Tall straight tree trunks.

Large ever green leaves.

Lianas - rope-like climbing plants.

Wide buttress roots growing above ground.

Dark forest floor with little undergrowth.

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Layers of the Forest

1.Emergent trees (the tallest trees)

2.Canopy (the 2nd layer)

3.Undergrowth (is the bottom layer, and has the shortest trees)

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Why do plants have....


Plants have large evergreen leaves because it is hot all year round. 


The trees have tall straight tree trunks because they grow upwards to reach the light.


Wide buttress roots grow above ground because the soil is shallow. 


They only have little undergrowth on the forest floor because the forest is dark.


Lianas climb up tress because the sun is overhead.

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Equatorial Climate

Tropical rainforest grows in equatorial climates. This is hot everyday and experiences convectional rainstorms everyday. 

the climate conditions are perfect for plant growth, hence the size of the plants, and also they decay of the dead plants. 

The daily rains wash the nutrients from decomposed plant matter into the soil to be greedily take up by the rapidly growing plants.

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What happens throughout the day??

An equatorial climate has various changes (in weather) throughout the day, everyday. At about 6am, the sun rises and an early morning mist covers the forest. As the day moves on (9am) the heat starts to evaporate the moisture, hot air rises. At midday the warm air cools to form cumulus clouds. At this point, the sun is overhead. By 3 o clock the clouds increase in size and height, heavy rain falls. By 6pm the storm ends and the clouds disappear. Then the sun sets. 

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Trees, Nutrients and Humus!!

The nutrients are the foods which are drawn up from the soil by the roots. However, beneath the rainforest the soil contains few nutrients. Most of the nutrients in the rainforest ecosystem are held within the trees themselves. When leaves fall from trees, or the plants die, they quickly de-compose in the heat to form a layer of humus above the soil. Nutrients are washed into the soil and are quickly taken up by trees.

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How do people live in the rainforest??

The Iban people of Borneo still live in the traditional way. However, they are subject to more and more influences from the outside/modern world. 

The traditional way of life was sustainable, but modern influences could be leading to the destruction of the rainforest and the Iban people themselves.

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Farming in the Rainforest

1. The Iban cut down the trees for farming. 

2. They then plant crops in the newly empty area (where they cut the trees down) and wait for them to grow. 

3. After two or three years the soil loses its fertility and the fields are abandoned. The area begins to grow back to forest. People move on to another area of the forest to grow their crops.

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Destruction of the Rainforest

The forest is being burnt - as much as Belgium every year. Fires are set to clear the land for modern plantation farming. This process of deforestation is unsustainable. The long term future for the forest is a barren desert.

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