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edexcel geography paper 3.
Terms in this set (138)
what is an ecosystem?
a grouping of biotic and abiotic factors that interact with eachother and the environment
what is a biome?
a large scale global ecosystem defined by the plants + animals that live there
what is a Taiga (boreal) biome?
trees adapted to cold- needles
doesn't get much sun energy
what is the tropical rainforest biome?
found along the equator
heavy rainfallequitorial regions where hadley cells meet
what is the temperate biome?
trees lose leaves
high rainfall where polar and ferrel cells meet
what is the tundra biome?
within the artic circle
only tough short grasses survive
what is the desert biome?
close to the Tropics of Cancer/Capricorn
hot air sinks here
lots of sunlight
around hadley cell with little rainfall and high temperatures
what is the grasslands?
have seasonal rainfall
too low for tree growth
what local factors affect biome distribution?
altitude- different things grow at different heights
rock + soil type - can affect how fertile soil is
drainage- bogs/swamps only have adapted plants
what is a biotic factor?
a living component of an ecosystem
what is an abiotic factor?
a non-living component of an ecosystem
what is biodiversity?
the variety of biotic components within an ecosystem
reasons for Taiga having low biodiversity...
abiotic= long cold winters, low precipitation, frozen soil
biotic= small amounts of food, only well adapted plants survive, small number of animals
what are the 3 stores in the nutrient cycle?
-decaying vegetation decomposes
-nutrients enter soil
-roots take up nutrients
why is there higher productivity and biodiversity in tropical rainforest (in relation to nutrient cycle)
larger biomass store- plentiful vegetation and trees quickly absorb nutrients
smaller litter store and larger decay transfer- ideal conditions for bacteria to decompose matter
larger growth transfer-year round plant growth
larger leaching transfer- lots of precipitation leaches nutrients through the soil
reasons for increasing demand for resources
higher food production, water shortages,
affluence- richer people consume more expensive resources (eg. meat, fossil fuels)
population growth (esp rapidly in asia)
what do we get from the rainforest?
medicines- aloe, poppies-> morphine
how does the biosphere act as a life support system?
regulates the water cycle -> plants slow down rivers and filter water
↳roots bind soil to prevent erosion, trap silt for purer water, plants intercept and transpire water
regulates carbon cycle -> photosynthesis
↳purified atmosphere and reverses global warming
nutrient cycle -> keeps soil healthy (abundant nitrogen and potassium) so more plants can grow
↳ insects and animals dig into soil to allow air to circulate
what is the climate like in the tropical rainforest?
-up to 300mm precitation in March
-reasonably high rainfall all year
-2000mm annual rainfall
-no distinct seasons
what are plant adaptions in the rainforest?
thick/tall roots to support the tree so it can grow high (buttress roots)
waxy, drip tips to prevent mould growing which blocks sunlight
shallow roots to get the nutrients which are on the top of the soil
liana plant vines climb trunks to reach sunlight and nutrients
what are animal adaptations in the rainforest?
primates have long tails for balance and strong claws for grip- can live in canopy where food is plentiful
big cats have camouflaged fur to blend into shade and sunlight on shrub layer
birds have loud calls to hear mates and powerful beaks to break open nuts
what are the layers of the rainforest?
what are the adaptions of Taiga plants?
needle shaped leaves/ waxy= reduced water loss
coniferous= dark green leaves which don't shed to maximise photosynthesis all year
cone shaped= shed heavy snow
grow close together= reduce wind damage
shallow, wide roots- support tree and avoid permafrost
acidic layer of pine needles
what are the adaptations of Taiga animals?
birds often migrate due to lack of food
moose eats pine needles
brown bear hibernates
animal species have thick, oily fur or feathers to keep them warm and are well camouflaged
small ears and tails to avoid frostbite
why does the Taiga have a low biodiversity + productivity?
-plants can only grow for 3-5 months per year
-litter accumulates until the summer
-thin, acidic, low in nutrient soil
-plants grow slowly
large litter store, very small soil store
what are the causes of deforestation (direct threat)?
agriculture- strips soil of nutrition, commercial clears forest for large plantations, abstinence clears forest for land for unskilled farmers to grow food for their families
logging- hardwood for furniture (eg. valuable mahogany), illegal logging
biofuels and fuelwood- cooking or charcoal
mining- mineral resources found underground
HEP dams- 400 dams along Amazon for electricity, takes up space and floods
cattle ranching- for beef, leather etc, cattle damage land and are often relocated
how does climate change threaten the rainforest?
-bring constant wet weather
-drier/hotter rainforests due rising temp and lower rainfall
-plants/animals are adapted to temp spikes
-higher chance of drought
-stressed animals/plants are less resistant to disease
-increased risk of forest fires
what are the direct threats to the Taiga?
logging for softwood, pulp and paper production- half of the worlds softwood comes from Russia's taiga.
mining for fossil fuels
HEP dam production flooding the area
what are the indirect threats to the Taiga?
acid precipitation- destroys insects (which are prey for birds), weakens plants' resistance to disease and weather
pests and disease- damage trees
forest fires (global warming, lightning, human activity)- destroy habitats, saplings
how does global warming threaten the Taiga?
animals with heavy coats so can't cope with warm weather
new disease to spread to the Taiga and threaten low biodiversity
more frequent forest fires
what is CITES?
convention on international trade in endangered species of wild fauna and flora
stops imports/exports of endangered speies
protects 35000 species, huge national influence (181 countries)
an agreement to tightly control trade in wild animals and plants
what is the advantage of CITES?
huge international influence, 181 countries signed up
works well for high profile 'cuddly' species
what are the disadvantages on CITES
very difficult to enforce rules in all countries
protects species rather than ecosystems (ie. does not stop deforestation)
what is REDD?
reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation
they try to reduce the rate of deforestation
supports the reduction of deforestation, backed by the UN (large funding)
what are the advantages of REDD?
backed by UN so lots of money is available for projects
what are the disadvantages of REDD?
not clear what they mean by 'forest' so some palm tree plantations received funding although they destroy the rainforest
what is sustainability?
the ability to keep something going at the same rate/level for many years
what is sustainable biosphere development?
-ensuring ecosystem can recover
-help local people benefit from environment
-help local people understand how management benefits them
why should you protect the Taiga?
-pollution remains in ecosystem for decades
-few species so a disease in one species impacts the whole ecosystem
-highly specialised plants/animals so cant adapt to climate change
how do national parks prevent exploitation?
conservation=restoring natural habitats
scientific research= find out what threatens the ecosystem
education= informing visitors
what are the problems with parks and reserves?
migration- cant protect all species
money- oil/gas reserves means pressure from the government to develop them
pollution- easily damaged by pollution but if they are far away no one will visit
what are the problems with sustainable forestry?
expensive and a long term commitment
most parts of the Taiga are leased to businesses however they aren't interested in protection, only want to clear the area during their lease
why is oil consumption increasing?
increasing population-9.5bil by 2050
affluence- richer so buy cars, a.c
technology- people want newest models
what factors impact oil prices?
financial crisis (recession)
environmental disasters (oil spills)
political tensions (nuclear weapons)
price wars between suppliers (decrease)
what are the benefits of extracting oil/gas from the Artic?
close to important markets
melting ice has reduced costs
what are the drawbacks for extracting oil/gas from the Artic?
exploration costs billions
pollution is expensive to clear up
if prices drop it will be unprofitable
what are the environmental costs of fracking?
contamination of groundwater
subsidence (sinking of land)
how is energy wasting reduced in newly built homes?
insulating concrete blocks
75mm cavity wall insulation
thick carpets/ underlays
how an you reduce energy wasting in your home?
switch off appliances
hot water tank jacket
how can the UK reduce the amount of energy used in transport?
encourage use of public transport
increase engine efficiency
improve energy conservation (reduce drag)
what are the benefits of renewable energy sources?
low/no carbon emissions
no local pollution
can reduce globalisation costs
what are the drawbacks of renewable sources?
-best locations are often far from cities where energy is needed
-take up a lot of land which could be used for farming
-spoil the landscape
-impact local ecosystems
-can be more expensive to run
how do attitudes to energy vary?
most supporting of sustainable energy= environmental groups> climate scientists> government> consumers > TNC's
TNC's would rather business continued as normal
what is a carbon footprint?
a measurement of the greenhouse gases that we contribute to the environment as a result of our daily lives
what is your primary footprint?
energy use in the home + transportation
what is your secondary footprint?
recreational activities + energy needed to supply goods/ services
what is the global carbon footprint?
to fight climate change should be 2000kg
how is carbon footprint measured?
in Kg's of the equivalent carbon dioxide per person
what changes consumers attitudes?
Education - government info about energy choices
Environmental concerns- campaigns by groups
Affluence- afford energy efficient alternatives
why might TNC's not want a more sustainable energy approach?
increases their costs
consumers might be unwilling to pay for energy alternatives so its hard to make them popular
taiga plant adaptations
cone shaped trees
taiga animal characterisitics
large mammals with thick coats
causes of tropical rainforest deforestation
mining, biofuels, commercial wood logging, agriculture, hydroelectric dams
direct threats to the taiga
logging for softwood, pulp and paper production
indirect threats to the taiga
mining, hydroelectric power schemes
distance from the ocean, affects precipitation
indirect=a product-manufacture to final disposal
stores water which drives a turbine to generate electricity
energy efficiency in homes
-loans pay for home improvements to cut energy consumption
-grants like green deal home improvement fund
-PV solar panels get you payed
vehicle excise duty, road tax depending on levels of vehicle pollution
the 450 scenario
IEA wants to reduce global temperature increase from 6 to 2 degrees, by CO2 emission targets. they plan to make fossil fuel taxes called carbon taxes
nuclear energy pros and cons
pros: tiny bit of uranium makes huge amounts of energy. cheaper. no reliance on fossil fuels. creates jobs
cons: uranium is finite. worries over danger (fukushima power plant meltdown). uranium has to be mined and synthesised which is expensive.
falls 1 degree every 200m increase in altitude
commercial uses for forest resources
-bushmeat trade, africa, monkeys/lemurs
-HEP constructing large dams and flooding areas to create a reservoir
-mining for coltan used in phones
rainforest water cycle
-heavy daily rain
-trees intercept water
-some water reaches ground
-trees take up water
rainforest nutrients cycle
-trees shed leaves
-decaying vegetation decomposes
-nutrients enter soil
-roots take up nutrients
what are the global ecosystems?
-little nutrients apart from at the top where leaves decompose
-red leaves rich in iron, frequently washed away because of high rainfall
-broadleaved hardwood evergreens
-lots of sun
-monkeys, bats, eagles, butterflies
-lots of food
-tree frogs, toucans, snakes
-little light, trees have larger leaves.
-jaguars, tree frogs, leopards, many insects
TRF food webs
producers-primary consumers-secondary consumers-decomposers
TRF food webs examples
primary consumers-fruit bats (herbivores)
secondary consumers- tigers(carnivores) and monkeys (omnivores)
decomposers-consume both plants and animals
-UN project to stop deforestation and global warming. aim to reduce deforestation emissions, conserving forests in developing countries
-funding attractive to governments because of global contributions
-Juma sustainable forest reserve is the amazon's first REDD project. pays 6000 families in 14 conservation areas to not deforest, conserving 10million hectares
-deforestation still rapid in south asia
-vague about what counts as forest for replanting in some areas
-over $1bn funded in Brazil which some argued was an overindulgence
lists 34,000 species of endangered animals eg red pandas, tigers, chimps. bans cross-border trade for these species' so illegal hunting will stop
-many countries involved
-wide variety of species protected
-reduced ivory trade and slowed decline of african elephants
-doesn't protect ecosystems so deforestation still occurs
-global warming could undermine it's success
-many LICs can't afford monitoring systems
poverty driving deforestation
-many people in LICs cut down small parts of forest for subsistence farming because they have no choice.
-low skilled and little income to seek further employment
debt driving deforestation
-if a country has foreign debt they are forced to carry on deforesting to mine and for commercial agriculture so they can pay off the debt
economic development driving deforestation
-mining is lucrative meaning companies use the forest for deforestation so the country can grow economically
demand for biofuels driving deforestation
more resources demanded so more land is removed from HEP projects etc
mineral exploitation causing deforestation
coltan mining in the democratic republic of congo pays poor families to dig for coltan which is cheaply sold to TNCs
hydroelectric power causing deforestation
tucuwui dam in amazonia brazil
-reservoir flooded 1800km2 TRF
biofuels causing deforestation
-palm oil in indonesia has 6million hectares of biofuel plantations used in food/cosmetics, and burnt
what could happen to the TRF in the future
-bacteria thrives at higher temps
-more pathogens=more disease
-more forest fires=more CO2
-plants produce CO2
-leaves in canopy die, less food supply
-increased meat demand, more methane emissions
-china/india's middle class increases consumption
-forest law code enforced?
juma forest reserve
-first REDD project in brazi;
-ngo's pay residents to not deforest, $28/month
-donated by amazonas state gov, hotels, banks
-hard to catch illegal loggers, also less than a dollar a day
-mountain rainforest in cameroon
-educated communities on sustainable forest care
-forest increased by 3%
-marked out forest reserve area
-could be pressured under population increase/climate change
bird adaptations in the Taiga
woodpeckers migrate to the south in the winter so they don't get cold
mammal adaptations in the Taiga
-thick fur coats
-ability to hibernate
-short ears and tails avoid frostbite
-winter camouflage=white fur
features of the taiga
-coniferous trees so snow falls off
-many animals have thick oily fur
-not much biodiversity because animals/plants have to adapt or be able to hibernate
taiga forest adaptations
-triangular trees, snow falls off
-needles waxy to avoid frost
-seeds covered in woody layer
-roots shallow so they don't hit the waterlogged permafrost (summer)
-lichens and mosses grow on the ground because there is no light
measure of how much biomass added to biome each year. increased with sunlight, heat and rain
threats to the taiga
-only 8% deforested, but a few cute animals like polar bears are at risk
acid rain taiga
causes chemical gases to occur by reacting with clouds/oxygen. rains on taiga and harms animals and plants
pests and disease taiga
taiga has fungus, mould, silkworms, beetles etc that damage Conifer's needles. over 6million acres of alaska shows spruce bark beetle activity
HEP potential taiga
good river flow so targetted for dam building that reduce downstream water flow
softwood logging and paper production taiga
clearcutting makes it hard for trees to regrow an makes forest more susceptible to flooding and eroion. one of canada's important industry's tho
exploitation of minerals and fossil fuels taiga
uses chemicals which contaminate groundwater. taiga used for 20% oil stock in russian businesses
sustainable forest management in Finland
-everyman's right enforced
-trees replanted with a range of species' to ensure biodiversity
wind power pros and cons
pros:no pollution, hundreds of megawatts electricity, cheap
cons:ugly, expensive, kills birds, offshore wind farms too far away from place where energy is needed
solar power pros and cons
pros: no noise, maintainance. many jobs
cons: could harm desert habitats, can take up land used for crops
hydroelectric power pros and cons
pros:reliable and consistent, production easily altered, builds dams and reservoirs which easily conserves water
cons:expensive, ugly, changes in rivers displace animals
biofuels pros and cons
pros: produces less carbon emissions than fossil fuels, cheaper, reuses waste materials
cons: loads of water needed to grow crops, land competition, deforestation
hydrogen power pros and cons
pros:no pollution, made from water, efficient
cons:energy needed to release hydrogen from water, difficult to store
from volcanoes in countries near equator which is taken from magma heat energy
where oil production reaches it's peak and begins to decline. growing demand because of growing population
what local factors affect biome distribution?
what resources does the biosphere provide?
--resources for indigenous people
what do humans exploit the biosphere for?
impossible to increase food production to keep up with population growth and a natural disaster would level out the population
population is growing faster than earth's food supply (18th century)
If exponential population growth caused malnutrition, drive to provide and find more resources would lead to innovation and invention of new technologies to would improve food production/water supplies/ energy supplies
how can we protect the tropical rainforests?
through schemes, such as:
what is REDD?
-'Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation'
-rewards forest owners in poorer countries for keeping forests instead of cutting them down
how can we conserve tropical rainforests?
what are causing losses of biodiversity in taiga forests?
how can we conserve taiga forests?
-creating wilderness areas
-creating national parks (e.g. wood buffalo national park in canada)
-sustainable forestry- felled trees replaces with native taiga trees
what are some examples of recyclable energy sources?
what is access to energy affected by?
-- global energy consumption is unevenly distributed
what are the contrasting views about energy futures?
-business as usual
-move to sustainability
what is energy conservation?
about changing our behaviour as consumers- saving energy
what is energy efficiency?
it does the same job as something else but uses less energy
what is energy security?
to have access to reliable and affordable energy sources
what is energy diversification?
using energy from a variety of sources- increases energy security
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