• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Energy and Life - Ecosystems.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

26/09/04 Geography Essay Energy and Life - Ecosystems Compare and Contrast one High and one Low Productivity Ecosystem, Outlining the reasons for there often Unique Characteristics. This essay will describe two completely different ecosystems - a high productivity ecosystem [the tropical rainforest] and a low productivity ecosystem [the artic tundra]. Although they are two opposing ecosystems, I will attempt to compare their characteristics and features, including the soils, flora and fauna, climate and other features that are needed to sustain the lives that live in these entirely diverse environments. The high productivity ecosystem, i.e. the Rainforest is located around the equatorial parts of the earth, where it is hottest, for example - Central and South America (Amazon) with 57% of all rainforests, 25% of all rainforests are in South East Asia and the other 18% is in West Africa. ...read more.

Middle

The land is usually permanently frozen (permafrost) for half the year, but does thaw in summer. The average temperature is 0oC, with six months of below freezing. The vegetation only has 50 days in which to grow, however there is water in the other 315 days, but because of the strong winds and low temperatures, plants are too cold to use it, especially as most of it is frozen. This is Physiological Drought. The soils in the Rainforest are not as fertile as you first think. There is a thin layer called the litter layer which is made of fallen leaves, twigs etc, but under that the soil is infertile. The soil has a poor amount of nutrients and is acidic, though the soils are rich in iron, giving them their rich red colour. ...read more.

Conclusion

Whereas the rainforest is dense, the Tundra is sparse. There are less than 100 species of plant in the whole biome. The species are mainly mosses, lichens and grasses, are some shrubs and flowering plants. The rainforest there is 5 layers, in the tundra, there's only one layer of vegetation. In the northern part of the tundra, only mosses and lichens can survive the cold in strewn areas. In the southern part of the tundra, the weather is less severe, letting heath land take over and on the edge of the tundra small tree, such as birch and willow are scattered out on the grassland and heath land. The vegetation of the Rainforest and Tundra have adapted to suit their environment. The Rainforest trees have grown with thinner trunks, and smoother bark to allow for maximum water loss, as there is no worry about frost. Trees have grown taller to reach the sunlight and buttress roots ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Environmental Management section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Environmental Management essays

  1. The tropical rainforests of South America, Africa, Asia and the nor

    There are countless numbers of food chains, which go on and keep organisms in the world alive. This is how a typical food chain looks like: Producer Herbivore Carnivore Omnivore Decomposers The Producers are living things that take the non-living matter from the environment, such as minerals and gases and uses them to support life.

  2. Free essay

    How is Human Activity affecting the Tundra Environment ?

    The biggest threat to the Tundra however is not the exploration, drilling or the transportation of the oil , the threat is the effect an oil spill would have on the area . Some have argued it doesn't even need to be a regular occurrence, just one big accident would

  1. What Are the Effects of Rapid, Large-scale Clearance of Tropical Rainforests?

    Environmental organisations like Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth accuse Brazil of murdering the forest, but there is no other way for us to easily make money to pay back our debts and to keep some of the population employed and earning money.

  2. Should the Brazilian government allow continuation of further development in the Amazon rainforest?

    The first layer is the shrub layer. This layer consists of mainly soil and the roots of the trees. There is very little undergrowth and is roughly 5-10 metres tall. It is also extremely dark because of the other trees blocking the sunlight and the only amount of sunlight the shrub layer gets is just 5 minutes.

  1. This investigation focuses on an area of the west bank of the medina estuary ...

    This assessment is subjective to your own personal view. The weather conditions will also have an impact on how the area is viewed. The conditions should be noted and taken into account when drawing a conclusion. Choropleth mapping. Industrial, ecological and recreational surveys. See what potential the area has for development and compare this to the environmental quality to

  2. Underlying Causes of Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Kenya

    Once again in 1941, the colonial government tried unsuccessfully to evict them after gazetting it but this only drove them further inside the forest because there was no communication between them and the government. They did not know what was expected of them.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work