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1A2_2012 Group 5

Page history last edited by 1A2_2012 Group 5 8 years, 7 months ago

Team members

 

Names / Roles:

  • [YiLing]      (Leader)
  • [HuiLing]      (Chief Editor)
  • [Liyana]      (Researcher) 

 

 


Overview

In this section, include a brief description of the allocated ecosystem. You should include the following information:

  • Location of the ecosystem: CENTRAL AMERICA, THE AMAZON, AFRICA, SOUTHERN ASIA, AUSTRALASIA.
  • Description of ecosystem: 

 

The tropical rain forest is a forest of tall trees in a region of year-round warmth. An average of 50 to 260 inches (125 to 660 cm.) of rain falls yearly.

 

Rain forests belong to the tropical wet climate group. The temperature in a rain forest rarely gets higher than 93 °F (34 °C) or drops below 68 °F (20 °C); average humidity is between 77 and 88%; rainfall is often more than 100 inches a year. There is usually a brief season of less rain. In monsoonal areas, there is a real dry season. Almost all rain forests lie near the equator.

 

Rainforests now cover less than 6% of Earth's land surface. Scientists estimate that more than half of all the world's plant and animal species live in tropical rain forests. Tropical rainforests produce 40% of Earth's oxygen.

 

A tropical rain forest has more kinds of trees than any other area in the world. Scientists have counted about 100 to 300 species in one 2 1/2-acre (1-hectare) area in South America. Seventy percent of the plants in the rainforest are trees.

 

About 1/4 of all the medicines we use come from rainforest plants. Curare comes from a tropical vine, and is used as an anesthetic and to relax muscles during surgery. Quinine, from the cinchona tree, is used to treat malaria. A person with lymphocytic leukemia has a 99% chance that the disease will go into remission because of the rosy periwinkle. More than 1,400 varieties of tropical plants are thought to be potential cures for cancer.

 

All tropical rain forests resemble one another in some ways. Many of the trees have straight trunks that don't branch out for 100 feet or more. There is no sense in growing branches below the canopy where there is little light. The majority of the trees have smooth, thin bark because there is no need to protect the them from water loss and freezing temperatures. It also makes it difficult for epiphytes and plant parasites to get a hold on the trunks. The bark of different species is so similar that it is difficult to identify a tree by its bark. Many trees can only be identified by their flowers.

 

Despite these differences, each of the three largest rainforests--the American, the African, and the Asian--has a different group of animal and plant species. Each rain forest has many species of monkeys, all of which differ from the species of the other two rain forests. In addition, different areas of the same rain forest may have different species. Many kinds of trees that grow in the mountains of the Amazon rain forest do not grow in the lowlands of that same forest.

 

  • Biodiversity of ecosystem (richness of life in ecosystem): 

 

 


Physical Factors

Search the Internet for information on the following physical factors in the allocated ecosystem. 

  • Light (availability of sunlight in the ecosystem)
  • Temperature (temperature of the ecosystem)

 In an average year the climate in a tropical rain forest is very humid because of all the rainfall. A tropical rainforest gets about 150 cm of rain per year. It gets lots of rain because it is very hot and wet in rain forests. The hotter the air, the more water vapor it can hold. It rains usually about 1/8 of an inch per day.

 

This climate is found near the equator. That means that there is more direct sunlight hitting the land and sea there than anywhere else. The sun warms the land and sea and the water evaporates into the air. The warm air can hold a lot of water vapor. As the air rises, it cools. That means it can hold less water vapor. Then as warm meets cold, condensation takes place and the vapor forms droplets and clouds form. The clouds then produce rain. It rains more than ninety days a year and the strong sun usually shines between the storms. The water cycle repeats often along the equator.

 

The main plants in this biome are trees. This is important because in the rain forest, some rain never gets past the trees and to the smaller plants and ground below. Trees in this climate reach a height of more than 164 feet. They form a canopy. The forest floor is called understory. The canopy also keeps sunlight from reaching the plants in the understory. Between the canopy and understory is a lower canopy made up of smaller trees. These plants do receive some filtered sunlight.

 

The tropical rain forest is classified under the Köppen Classification system as Af, meaning tropical forest. The A is given to tropical climates that are moist for all months and which have average temperatures above 18 degrees Celsius. The f stands for sufficient precipitation for all months. The latitude range for my climate is 15° to 25° North and South of the equator.

 

The annual precipitation of a rain forest is greater than 150 cm. In a rain forest there is a short dry season. In only a month the rainforest receives 4 inches of rain. The rain forest climate is different from a lot of other climates. In other climates, the evaporation is carried away to fall as rain in far off areas, but in the rain forests, 50 percent of the precipitation comes from its own evaporation. A lot of the rain that falls on the rain forest never reaches the ground, instead it stays on the trees because the leaves act as a shield.

 

  • Water (water quality in the ecosystem)

 

Tropical rainforests have some of the largest rivers in the world, like the Amazon, Madeira, Mekong, Negro, Orinoco, and Zaire (Congo), because of the tremendous amount of precipitation their watersheds receive. These mega-rivers are fed by countless smaller tributaries, streams, and creeks. For example, the Amazon alone has some 1,100 tributaries, 17 of which are over 1,000 miles long. Although large tropical rivers are fairly uniform in appearance and water composition, their tributaries vary greatly. Many tropical rivers and streams have extreme high and low water levels that occur at different parts of the year. 

 

In addition to rivers, rainforests have conventional, free-standing lakes and so-called oxbow lakes, formed when a river changes course. These lakes are home to species adapted to the quiet, stagnant conditions.

 

Tropical waters, whether they be giant rivers, streams, or oxbow lakes, are almost as rich in animal species as the rainforests that surround them. But they, too, are increasingly threatened by human activities, including pollution, siltation resulting from deforestation, hydroelectric projects, and over-harvesting of resident species. 

  •  
  • Air (quality of air in the ecosystem) 

 

 

 


Classification of Living Organisms

Classify at least eight of the living organisms found in the allocated ecosystem into the categories below:

  1. Producers
  2. Primary Consumers
  3. Secondary Consumers
  4. Tertiary Consumers 
  5. Decomposers

For each of the living organism, find a picture and write a short description on the organism. You may wish to include feeding habits, region in the ecosystem where it is normally found etc. 

 

 


Food Web 

Create a food web using at least eight of the living organisms listed above. You may wish to use Microsoft PowerPoint to create your food web. Save your food web as a picture. Finally copy and paste your picture in this section of your wiki. 

 

 


Interrelationship in Ecosystem

Choose and write about one example from the following relationships in the ecosystem:

  • Predator-prey relationship
  • Parasitism
  • Mutualism

 

 


Useful Links

Plagiarism is a strongly discouraged.

 

Include the links of all websites you obtained information from to complete your ecology wiki. 

For example:

Wild World @ nationalgeographic.com ( http://www.nationalgeographic.com/wildworld/terrestrial.html ) 

 

 

 

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