Deforestation Ecosystem Model Answers

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Deforesation Model Exam Answers

What is deforestation?  (2 marks)

Deforestation is the deliberate clearance of woodland by cutting, burning or the application of a defoliant and is a major environmental issue around the world. 

Why is deforestation of tropical rainforests such an issue? (2)

The rich biodiversity found in tropical rainforests means that some species exist that humans have not discovered yet, and they could hold the key to future medical cures. Huge tropical rainforests of Amazonia absorb massive amounts of carbon dioxide through the process of photosynthesis and store it in plant tissue, thus helping to counteract global warming. Trees also break up the impact of heavy tropical rainfall, allowing infiltration and minimising soil-eroding surface runoff.

What can rainforests provide without being destroyed? (4)

Without being destroyed, rainforests can provide edible foods such as wild fruits and vegetables, as well as honey and meat e.g. from monkeys that live in the rainforests. Rainforests offer some protection from floods as they increase interception and infiltration and also reduce the likelihood of soil erosion. They are important for providing a home for many different species of animal and bird, as well as providing a high level of biodiversity and maintaining food chains and ecological links.  

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Outline the causes of rainforest deforestation in different regions around the world. (10 marks)

7% of the Earth’s land is covered in tropical rainforest. In some developing countries and NICs, tropical rainforests, such as those in the Amazon basin in South America, and in Indonesia and Malaysia are being destroyed at an increasing rate. Already, around half of the world’s original rainforests have been cleared, with an area the size of the UK being cleared every year. Climatic climax vegetation has been destroyed and this has resulted in both secondary succession and plagioclimax. The vegetation that eventually grows ...

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