SCIE210 Unit 1IP - Research Paper Example

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Tropical rainforest is a kind of an ecosystem that occurs approximately within 30 degrees south or north of the equator; this regional experiences high amount of rainfall and temperatures. This forest is found in Australia, Asia, South America, and America. There are different…
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Tropical rainforest Tropical rainforest is a kind of an ecosystem that occurs approximately within 30 degrees south or north of the equator; this regional experiences high amount of rainfall and temperatures. This forest is found in Australia, Asia, South America, and America. There are different types of tropical forests, this are lowland equatorial evergreen forest, Montane rain forests, flooded forests, and moist deciduous and seasonal forest. An example of a tropical rain forest is Amazon rainforest in Brazil (Bush & Flenley, 2007).
The structure of the tropical rainforests are divided into different types of layers, the vegetation is organized in a vertical pattern from the soil surface to canopy. Every layer has its own unique biotic features of different kind of plants and animals.
The floor of the forest is the bottom layer and it receives a little amount of sunlight of approximately 3% (Bush & Flenley, 2007). The only plants that can grow on the surface are those that can adapt to low light. It is relatively clear of any vegetation because of limited availability of sunlight. Lack of vegetation makes it easy for the movement of animals such as tapir, apes and okapi, and many other species of insects and reptiles. The surface also contains decaying matter from plants and animals, the growing of the fungi assist in decaying the waste.
The second layer is understory layer, this layer lies between canopy and surface. This is the home of several birds, small mammals, predators, and insects. Examples are leopards, ring-tailed coati, boa constrictor, and several other living species. The vegetation is made up of herbs, shrubs, and small tress. The amount of sunlight that penetrates the layer is approximately 5 percent. To adapt to the environment, the trees at this level normally develop large leaves meant to trap large amount of sunlight (Bush & Flenley, 2007).
The third layer is the canopy; it is the primary layer that forms a roof over the 2 remaining layers. It contains many largest trees, normally between 30 to 45 meters high. Evergreen trees dominate this layer. The densest areas of biodiversity are found in this layer since it supports rich flora such as bromeliads and mosses. Animals species found in this layer include African gray parrot, hornbill, monkeys, tamandua and many others (Bush & Flenley, 2007).
The last layer is the emergent layer. This layer contains a few number of very tall trees that grow above the average canopy reaching up to 80 meters tall. Examples of such trees are Balizia elegans, Dipteryx panamensis, and Hieronyma alchorneoides (Wood, 2003). These trees are strong and can adapt strong winds and high temperatures. The type of fauna that live in this layer include king colobus, crowned eagle, and many other species.
There are different functions of the tropical rainforest. They are normally called the lungs of the earth due to their roles of observing carbon dioxide and giving out oxygen. They also stabilize the world climate, provide home for several animals and plants, and attract rainfall in many parts of the world. It is also a source of medicine to both humans and animals and it protects against flooding and erosion. In the forest there are trees that burst through the canopy looking for sunlight. These trees influence the growth of other trees since it prevents sunlight from reaching other trees. In the understory layer, all the specifies have the same leaf shape with a characteristic of drip-tip, this shape prevent water from accumulating thus bringing down the possibility of fungus growing on the dark moist surface (Malhi & Phillips, 2005). The fungi in the surface is responsible for the destruction of falling leafs in the ground surface keeping the accumulation of leafs low. Animals breathe out carbon dioxide. During photosynthesis, plants leafs absorbs carbon dioxide and break it into carbon and oxygen. Oxygen is released into the atmosphere while carbon is then stored as sugars and starch; it is also used to form body of the plant. When the plant decay or respires, they are returned into the environment. When the animals feed on plants, they can also be absorbed into their bodies.
Large amount of nitrogen is found in air, but in its form, it is unavailable to plants. That means it should be first fixed into nitrates by microorganism that are present in the soil, when plants or herbivorous die, they excrete nitrogen into the soil. The released nitrogen then goes through fixation method when observed by bacteria and converted into nitrate. Nitrate can then be observed by plants and gets to animals when they eat plants. The nitrates in the soil can also be broken down through denitrification process to form a nitrogen gas which is released into the air (Holder, Science Museum of Minnesota, & Shedd Productions, 1992).
The manmade cause of forest destruction is mining and drilling. Deposits resulting from metals such as gold and silver, and fossil fuels like oil occur on the surface of the forest. The extraction of these minerals is significant especially in developing countries and the extraction is normally given priority since it boosts the country economic growth. Mining requires a lot of land and in some occasions forest are destroyed to pave way. The natural cause of forest destruction is growing human population. Growing population requires more space for farming and building; this will then result in forest destruction.
Cheshire, G., & Orr, R. (2001). The tropical rainforest. New York: Crabtree Pub. Co
Holder, G., Science Museum of Minnesota., & Shedd Productions. (1992). Tropical rainforest.
Whittier, Calif: Distributed by Finley-Holiday Films.
Bush, M. B., & Flenley, J. (2007). Tropical rainforest responses to climatic change. Berlin:
Malhi, Y., & Phillips, O. (2005). Tropical forests & global atmospheric change. Oxford: Oxford
University Press
Wood, R. (2003). Abiotic and biotic effects of trails in a Costa Rican premontane tropical
rainforest. Read More
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