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Describe and explain how the thermal and precipitation regimes characterize the climate of any one distinctive landscape within the tropics.

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Introduction

Regional variations in the amount, intensity and seasonal distribution of climatic elements as determined by the climatic controls, create a pattern of earth climates. Describe and explain how the thermal and precipitation regimes characterize the climate of any one distinctive landscape within the tropics. What and how are the modifying factors which may produce local climatic variations in the landscape you have chosen? Strengths of the attempt: 1. Introduction of the TRF is brief but informative. 2. Characteristics of different landscapes' vegetation are well illustrated and precise. 3. Good presentation in the relationship between the climatic and vegetation conditions, bringing out the interactive and interdependent relationship between them. 4. Well-organized. Outline: * General descriptions on TRF's climate. * Description and account for the flora and luxuriant composition in TRF. * General conditions for the vegetation with increase in latitude. * Description on Savanna's climate and vegetation condition. * Description on Tropical desert's climate and vegetation condition (especially on the adaptation of vegetation to the adverse natural conditions.) ...read more.

Middle

As latitude increases, there are changes in the vegetation properties. In general, the biomass decreases as natural conditions become less favourable. To the north and south of the TRF is the savanna. It is divided into the wet and the dry savanna. The wet savanna is nearer to the TRF. Here, the annual rainfall is lower than that in the TRF (about 750-1400mm). There is a distinct wet and dry season. Annual rainfall is unevenly distributed. The annual range of temperature is larger than that in the TRF. Under these climatic conditions, the savanna has less flora variety and the vegetation is not as dense. There is no distinct stratification in the vegetation cover. The biomass is smaller and is less luxuriant. With increase in latitude, a dry savanna can be found. The climatic condition becomes more adverse to plant growth. The annual rainfall is 250-750mm and there is a marked dry season. Rainfall is unevenly distributed. The mean summer temperature is high and there is a larger range of temperature. ...read more.

Conclusion

Vegetation changes along the climatic gradient from the Tropical Rain Forest to the Tropical Desert. However, human activities have played a vital role in altering this natural change. Many economic activities, such as lumbering and agriculture, have reduced the flora composition and the biomass in the TRF. The unique microclimate is changed as trees are cut down. The area becomes drier and allows more air movement in it. In addition, the ecosystem becomes less stable and secondary succession can be found. Trees in the secondary succession have softer wood and are shorter in height. Less species are found in these forests. The ecosystem is fragile on the margin of deserts and in the transitional zone between the TRF and the Tropical Desert. If people who practice farming there use improper methods such as marginal farming with poor irrigation, the soil will become easily exhausted through over-cultivation and overgrazing. As time passes, soil depletion results and productivity decreases. Surface vegetation gives way to barren land. Human activities can disrupt the fragile ecosystem and lead to a process called desertification. Natural vegetation is controlled by physical and climatic conditions. But through human activities, the presence and characteristics of the natural vegetation cover may greatly be altered. ...read more.

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