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

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

The tropical rainforests of South America, Africa, Asia and the north of Australia are all distributed evenly between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. The Equator runs through some of these rainforests and is also close to some of them. The map below illustrates all the rainforests in the world and the distribution of them. The tropical rainforests of the world are all global ecosystems. An ecosystem is the link between plants and animals and the habitats in which they live in, so this is why we call tropical rainforests ecosystems because they link the animal life, with the plant life. Another word for global ecosystems is biomes.  



        An example of a biome that I will be referring to is the Amazon rainforest. This tropical rainforest is one of the largest tropical rainforest in the world and is home to 10 per cent of all known plant and animal species. To describe the rainforest in briefer terms, we can say that it is a type of ‘system’; it has four main parts, which classify it as a system. The rainforest has an Input, which is material or energy moving into the system. An Output is material or energy leaving the system. Stores are places where material or energy is kept and Flows are movement of materials or energy between the stores. All these four parts are vital to the system and if one part of the system is taken away, then the whole system will fail to proceed and will stop.

        There are many natural chains and cycles, which take place in all rainforests, such as, the food chain, the nutrient cycle, the water cycle etc. The food chain is a natural chain, which is ongoing to keep organisms healthy and alive. 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. Example of a Producer is grass. The Herbivores are animals that eat plants; they are considered as consumers and are second in the food chain. An example of a Herbivore is the grasshopper. The Carnivores are animals that eat other animals, they are also considered as consumers. An example of a Carnivore is a snake. Omnivores are animals that eat both animals and plants; they are also consumers of the ecosystem. An example of an Omnivore is a human. Lastly, Decomposers are living things, which feed off dead plants and animals and reduce their remains to minerals and gases again. An example of a Decomposer is Bacteria.


                        The Water cycle


        The water cycle is a natural cycle, which is extremely fundamental to the rainforests. This cycle is very important to the rainforest because it provides rain that is exceedingly vital, hence the name rainforest.

 Rain from the clouds falls to the ground. This type of rainfall is called Convectional rainfall. Some of this rain falls into trees and is intercepted by them whereas some of the rain falls onto the ground. The water on the ground then flows to different directions. Some of the rainwater infiltrates into the soil and is eventually taken up by tree roots. However, some of the rainwater flows on the surface of the land and eventually ends up in the river. When the sun comes out, the water from the river is evaporated. Water that has landed on leaves and twigs is also evaporated. This water turns into water vapour and rises. Trees also make water vapour this, is called transpiration. As this water vapour rises to the atmosphere it forms clouds. The three types of clouds the water vapour forms are cumulus clouds, cirrus clouds and stratus clouds. The clouds eventually cool and condense and fall as rain. The cycle is then repeated.

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        Another natural cycle, which takes place in the rainforest ecosystem, is the nutrient cycle. This cycle is important as it provides nutrients for the rainforest.

                        The Nutrient cycle


        Leaves and twigs fall from trees to the ground, mainly in autumn and winter. These leaves and twigs then cause leaf litter on the soil. This leaf litter then decomposes with the aid of bacteria to form humus, soil that is formed by decomposition of plants. The humus contains a large amount of nutrients and is dissolved with water. The trees then absorb these liquid nutrients through their roots. ...

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