• Created by: Maddi
  • Created on: 18-05-13 17:07

Living Things ~ Biomes

Ecosystems can be small-scale, covering a small area (such as a pond) or large-scale covering a large area (such as a tropical rainforest). The world is divided up into ten major ecosystems. These large-scale ecosystems are called biomes.

Biomes are large-scale ecosystems defined by abiotic factors. These are:

  • climate
  •  relief
  • geology
  • soils
  • vegetation
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Living Things ~ Human Uses of the Rainforest

Positive Impacts 

Improved transportation - new roads and airports. Better transportation means easier access to raw materials like minerals and timber. Rainforest resources can be transported away and sold. Infrastructure, hospitals and education can be improved from the money gained from selling natural resources. Profits from selling resources can be used to improve a country's infrastructure. For example, profits from the sale of rainforest resources can be used to build schools and hospitals. Raw materials, eg tropical hardwoods such as ebony and mahogany, can be sold for a good price abroad. Mineral deposits in the Amazon include bauxite (the main constituent of aluminium), iron ore, manganese, gold, silver and diamonds. Minerals can be sold for high profits. Large-scale farming brings money into the country and provides food and jobs for the country's growing population.

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Living Things ~ Human Uses of the Rainforest


New roads divide up parts of the rainforest and can cut off connections between different biotic and abiotic systems.Land clearance for farming, transportation and mining can lead to deforestation. Hardwood trees take many years to grow so can be difficult to replace. Fertile soils that make farming possible are quickly washed away when the forest is cleared. If soil ends up in rivers, this can lead to flooding. Loss of animal habitat occurs when trees are cut down. Hence, deforestation can result in endangering animals and plant life, or even causing them to become extinct. Profits from large-scale farming and selling resources often go back to MEDCs or large companies and don't benefit the rainforest communities.

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Living Things ~ Sustainable Brazil

Agro-forestry - growing trees and crops at the same time. This lets farmers take advantage of shelter from the canopy of trees. It prevents soil erosion and the crops benefit from the nutrients from the dead organic matter.

Selective logging - trees are only felled when they reach a particular height. This allows young trees a guaranteed life span and the forest will regain full maturity after around 30-50 years.

Education - ensuring those involved in exploitation and management of the forest understand the consequences behind their actions.

Afforestation - the opposite of deforestation. If trees are cut down, they are replaced to maintain the canopy.

Forest reserves - areas protected from exploitation.

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Tourism ~ Reason behind more tourism

More affluence - since 1950 people have become more wealthy. There is more disposable income. People also now have paid time off work for holidays. Greater awareness - through advertising or television programmes people are more aware of how and where they can spend their free time. More car ownership - more families own a car. This gives greater freedom to choose when and where to spend time. Improvements in technology - travelling today is much quicker. Motorways and aircraft have helped reduce the time it takes to get to different countries. Travelling by air has become more accessible as you can book on line and choose more budget options. More leisure time - people have paid holidays from work (on average three weeks per year are paid). Also people who are retired remain active for longer. There is also a trend to take more than one holiday in a year. More choice - in the past seaside holidays and package holidays were the most popular. The industry is seeing more people look at ecotourism and more unusual holiday destinations.

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Tourism ~ Physical Resources

Physical resources are the natural features of an area which might attract tourists, such as:

·          the physical landscape - such as beaches, mountains, rivers, lakes and glaciers

·          ecosystems - such as rainforest or tropical grasslands

·          weather and climate - most tourists seem to like it warm and dry

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Tourism ~ Ecotourism


Ecotourism is a type of sustainable development. The aim of ecotourism is to reduce the impact that tourism has on naturally beautiful environments.

Any tourist destination can be harmed by increased levels of tourism. If areas are damaged or destroyed, they might not be available to future generations.

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Tourism ~ Lake District Problems

Employment can be seasonal and wages low.

House prices in the area can rise due to a demand for second homes.

Local shops on the margins of profitability often close to make way for more profitable gift shops and tea rooms. This leaves local people without essential services, eg butchers and greengrocers.

Traffic causes pollution and narrow roads can become congested in high season.

Large numbers of hikers cause footpath erosion, which is expensive to repair.

Watersports cause erosion of lake shores and there can be conflicts of interests between different lake users.

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Tourism ~ Lake District Advantages

Tourism provides employment and income for local people.

People choose to stay in the area, which maintains other essential services such as schools and hospitals.

Services provided for the use of tourists - eg leisure facilities - also benefit local people.

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Globalisation ~ What is Globalisation?

Globalisation is the process by which the world is becoming increasingly interconnected as a result of massively increased trade and cultural exchange. Globalisation has increased the production of goods and services. The biggest companies are no longer national firms but multinational corporations with subsidiaries in many countries. 

Globalisation has resulted in:

increased international trade , a company operating in more than one country , greater dependence on the global economy , freer movement of capital, goods, and services.

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Globalisation ~ Reasons for Globalisation?

Improvements in transportation - larger cargo ships mean that the cost of transporting goods between countries has decreased. Economies of scale mean the cost per item can reduce when operating on a larger scale. Transport improvements also mean that goods and people can travel more quickly.

Freedom of trade - organisations like the World Trade Organisation (WTO) promote free trade between countries, which help to remove barriers between countries.

Improvements of communications - the internet and mobile technology has allowed greater communication between people in different countries.

Labour availability and skills - countries such as India have lower labour costs (about a third of that of the UK) and also high skill levels. Labour intensive industries such as clothing can take advantage of cheaper labour costs and reduced legal restrictions in LEDCs.

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Globalisation ~ Positive

Inward investment by TNCs helps countries by providing new jobs and skills for local people.

TNCs bring wealth and foreign currency to local economies when they buy local resources, products and services. The extra money created by this investment can be spent on education, health and infrastructure.

The sharing of ideas, experiences and lifestyles of people and cultures. People can experience foods and other products not previously available in their countries.

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Globalisation ~ Negative

Globalisation operates mostly in the interests of the richest countries, which continue to dominate world trade at the expense of developing countries. The role of LEDCs in the world market is mostly to provide the North and West with cheap labour and raw materials.

Often, profits are sent back to the MEDC where the TNC is based. Transnational companies, with their massive economies of scale, may drive local companies out of business. If it becomes cheaper to operate in another country, the TNC might close down the factory and make local people redundant.

Globalisation is viewed by many as a threat to the world's cultural diversity. It is feared it might drown out local economies, traditions and languages and simply re-cast the whole world in the mould of the capitalist North and West.  Industry may begin to thrive in LEDCs at the expense of jobs in manufacturing in the UK and other MEDCs, especially in textiles.

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