• 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 ?

    be enough to irreversibly damage the most unique biome in the world .The effects of a big spill would be further magnified by the remote location of the Tundra making recovery efforts that much harder . Enviromentalists would point to the Exxon Oil Spill in 1989 is a good example

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

    Deforestation is the rapid large-scale clearance of the rainforests, which does not leave time for plants to adapt or re-grow. The world is loosing vast area of rainforest; much of this clearance of the world's rainforests is due to their location.

  2. Deforestation in the Worlds Tropical Rainforests

    Most of the consequences of tropical deforestation lie on the fact that many cleared lands are not (when utilised) suited for long-term farming or ranching, as they quickly degrade once the forest has been cut and burnt. Unlike the fertile soils of temperate latitudes, most tropical forest soils cannot sustain annual cropping.

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

    The next layer is the under canopy. This layer receives more sunlight than the shrub layer. This layer consists of mainly trees, which try and reach the next layer, the canopy. This layer is approximately 20 metres tall. The next layer is the canopy.

  2. Russia's dilemma - Is Russia going to sign the Kyoto treaty?

    could reinforce and partially lock-in decarbonization of the world energy system.10 Other than its economic and environmental benefits, signing the Kyoto treaty could be a great chance for Russia to prove itself in the political arena by demonstrating its responsibility for multilateral action on a truly global issue.

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

    At some sites herring gulls are present in huge numbers so the actual number will have to be estimated, any disturbances to the birds will have to be noted as it will reduce the number in the area. As above Analysis The annotated photographs give a representative picture of what each area is like.

  2. Sustainability and Wilderness Environments

    Although this method may be sustainable for the moment, the Canadians show no sign of any future plans. This could merely be because it has no need to reveal such plan as of yet, but equally they may not have a suitable plan in mind.

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