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Tropical Rainforests.

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Tropical Rainforests We all know that rainforests are big, beautiful places filled with a huge variety of plant and animal life, but do we know how they affect us? Or maybe more importantly, how we affect them. In this written plan I will guide you step by step through the basic knowledge of a typical rainforest, before moving onto more serious issues, such as how people affect them, and what problems they face. I will also provide suggestions as to how these problems can be solved. Characteristics of a tropical rainforest Rainforests are the earth's most biologically diverse ecosystems. They are typically situated along the equator, in Asia, Africa and Latin America, where the climate remains warm and humid all year round. Rainfall can reach up to 2,400 mm annually. Despite holding up to 50% of the earth's animal species, they only cover about 7% of the earth's land surface. The soil consists of pure sand, with a layer of humus (plant and animal remains), and is generally very fertile. Plant life: Plant life in a rainforest is typically divided into four layers: the emergent layer, the canopy, the understory, and the forest floor. The emergent layer: The emergent layer contains the tallest trees, who tower as much as 60 meters above the forest floor. ...read more.


This has devastating effects not only for the tree population, but also for the wildlife and for the people living in the forest, whose homes are being destroyed. Problems: The destruction of the rainforests is a great problem. Not only for the inhabitants of the rainforests, but worldwide. The trees in the rainforest are essential to the well being of our planet. Without them, the sea level and temperatures would rise, due to global warming. This has already started. A Savannah climate will prevail in Amazonia, without the trees and with the global warming. Tribes of people will be rendered homeless and without resources to help them survive, as well as thousands of species of insects and animals. Currently, about 15 hectares of rainforest is destroyed annually. At this rate, within thirty to fifty years, there will be no rainforest left. Trees that are hundreds of years old will be destroyed in a matter of days. Solutions: Many people profit from the destruction of the forests. This, naturally, is why they do it. In order to stop them, they must be compensated and offered alternatives. There must also be no more consumer demand for products made of tropical hardwood. Initiative is already being taken. There are: - International agreements to conserve ecology. - Projects offering education to lessen farmers and forest laborers. - Alternatives for tropical hardwood being used. ...read more.


Mammals living in the ocean include seals, dolphins and whales, whilst reptiles consist of primarily turtles. There are many different species of fish, some with special adaptations according to their diet and what part of the ocean they live. Plant life: Oceanic plant life is often very colorful, and also often carnivorous, as light is limited underwater so photosynthesis is illogical and inefficient. Aquatic plant life includes anemones, feather dusters, barnacles, hydroids, seaweed, kelp, algae, coral and many others. Plants such as anemones serve as habitats for fish, whilst algae is eaten by them. Ocean threats: Many of the ocean inhabitants are in danger due to over-fishing and water pollution. Thousands fish and birds die from oil spillages annually. In addition to that, the coral found in the sea is also being destroyed and damaged. Fishermen damage coral with their nets and anchors, or when they fish using poison or dynamite. Divers break pieces off of it by accident, or take the most beautiful pieces home for their aquarium. What can be done? There have been actions taken towards preventing these problems, such as international agreements on safe ocean transportation of oil and other pollutants, and regulations regarding the amount of fishing being done and limiting it. Chemical dispersants are used to break up oil spills when they occur, so that the oil concentration isn't as high in a small area. This lessens the damage done by the spill. ...read more.

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