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Terms in this set (11)
Describe the nutrient cycle
When dead material is decomposed, nutrients are released into the soil. The nutrients are then absorbed from the soil by plants. The plants may be eaten by consumers. When the plants or consumers die, the nutrients are returned to the soil. This transfer of nutrients is called he nutrient cycle.
Where are tropical rainforests located?
Tropical rainforests are located around central America, north and East south America (The Amazon), central Africa and South East Asia.
Describe the climate in a tropical rainforest.
A tropical rainforest has a hot, wet climate with no definite seasons. The soil isn't very fertile as heavy rain washes nutrients away. There is a thin layer of nutrients on the surface from decaying leaves but this is quickly decomposed by the warm moist conditions.
Rainforest water cycle
The roots of plants take up water from the ground and the rain is intercepted as it falls - much of it at the canopy level. As the rainforest heats up, the water evaporates into the atmosphere and forms clouds to make the next day's rain. This is convectional rainfall.
Rainforest nutrient cycle
The rainforest nutrient cycling is rapid. The hot, damp conditions on the forest floor allow for the rapid decomposition of dead plant material. This provides plentiful nutrients that are easily absorbed by plant roots. However, as these nutrients are in high demand from the rainforest's many fast-growing plants, they do not remain in the soil for long and stay close to the surface of the soil. If vegetation is removed, the soils quickly become infertile and vulnerable to erosion.
If the rainforest is cleared for agriculture it will not make very good farmland, as the soil will not be rich in nutrients.
1. Plant adaptations in a tropical rainforest
1 / Plants are adapted o heavy rainfall-they have THICK WAXY LEAVES that have pointed tips (called DRIP TIPS) These channel the water to a point so it runs off. This way the weight of the water does not damage the plant and the tree is able to have water.
2. Plant adaptations in a tropical rainforest
2/ Tall trees have big roots called Buttress roots to support their trunks in the very shallow soil.
3/ Climbing plants such as lianas use the tree trunks to climb up to the light.
4/ The trees are deciduous, they drop their leaves in drier periods to reduce water loss.
Vegetation layer; Canopy
A continuous layer of trees around 30 m high
Vegetation layer: Undercanopy
A layer of trees which are about half the height of the canopy layer.
These are the tallest trees which reach around 40 m and poke out of the canopy layer. They only have branches at their crown where most light reaches them.
The shrub layer
Nearest to the ground at around 10 meters high. Very little light reaches this level.
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