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The Tropical Rainforest

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Introduction

The Tropical Rainforest The tropical rainforest is the biggest and most complexed ecosystem in the world. It holds more than half of the world's animals and plantlife, Including a huge majority that haven't even been discovered yet. The rainforest compared to Britain is 30 times larger, covering around 8 million km. Some of the forest is destroyed everyday, including animal and plantlife. The forest from above is a vast green quilt of trees, giving off several different shades. From air you can see the emergents, which grow up to around 50m in height, these are accompanied by the canopy, which are 15m lower down. The under canopy's are 10m in height and the lowest of all are the shrubs and bushes. The ground of the forest is dark and damp, smelling of decaying matter. Long creepers or lianas trail to the ground, entangling themselves in the branches. The forest canopy is described to as the 'engine' of the rainforest. This is because, it's where most of the photosynthesis takes place, and you will also be able to discover all of the forests fruits and animals. The average rainfall of the forest is 2,000mm. All of this rain is called classic convectional rainfall, it falls regularly every day at the same time (throughout the year). 80% of this rain is recycled back up into the atmosphere. ...read more.

Middle

The forest processes are the soil system, rainforest ecosystem and the water cycle. The soil system, where the forests trees shed their leaves and branches. There is a layer of decomposing litter on the surface of the ground. Which is followed by a thin layer of nutrient rich soil. This is where the trees roots take back up all the nutrients. If trees are removed, then the whole nutrient cycle is broken, and all of the existing nutrients are washed away, this is called leaching. Leaving the soil infertile. The next process is the rainforest ecosystem. This is when the precipitation (rain) falls onto the trees leaves, and the suns energy also shines down onto the leaves, this causes evaporation in water vapour. Some of the water seeps through into ground water and surface run-off. The ecosystem is also when the nutrients are recycled, as stated in the soil system. The water cycle is when all the heavy rainstorms fall down on the forests layer of trees, and is evaporated or transpirated. A lot of this is recycled through the rivers, as they carry a lot of it back to the sea. The slash and burn process is a long one. It begins with human activities, as they cut down an area of the forest by hand. ...read more.

Conclusion

Barely a quarter of the world's primaeval forests still remain, and they are usually in remote places. Even these are now falling so fast that little of our natural heritage will be left for the next generation. In LEDC's such as Malaysia, where it has to use the forests resources. The only way to save the forests in the future is to help out the LEDC's and help them develop, therefore we will be saving the forest. 232,000 kilometres squared of tropical rainforest. The tropical rainforest in central areas and inaccessible areas, this is where urbanisation is destroying the forests. Conclusion; I have discovered some fascinating facts and opinions on the tropical rainforests. I have discovered all about the rainfall, soils, humans use of the forests, the extreme diversity, where the rainforests are to be located, the whole slash and burn process, and what to do in the future. I can now understand why the rainforests are so vital and important to us now and in the future, whether it is to do with drugs and cures, or the research of animals and other living creatures. My opinion is that everyone should try and do something to help in preserving the tropical rainforests. As it is for their own good, and something that has been created in the rainforests could help us in a big way in our futures e.g. a cure for a horrible disease. ...read more.

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