Tropical Rainforest

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Tropical Rainforest by Mind Map: Tropical Rainforest

1. Features

1.1. Warm/Hot

1.1.1. 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%;

1.2. High Light Levels

1.3. Inter-species Relationships

1.4. Low Seasonality

1.4.1. Low seasonaility as rainforests often are located on the equator

1.5. High Rainfall

1.5.1. rainfall is often more than 100 inches a year.

2. Importance

2.1. High biodiversity

2.1.1. Species Interelationships

2.1.2. Biomimentics

2.2. Resources

2.2.1. Food, Medicines, Building Materials

2.3. Carbon Seaquestration

2.3.1. Trees take in carbon and prevent the heating up of the atmosphere, if there are a smaller amount of trees temperatures will rise at a faster rate

2.4. Hydrological Cycle

2.4.1. The role of rainforests in the water cycle is to add water to the atmosphere through the process of transpiration (in which plants release water from their leaves during photosynthesis).

2.4.1.1. This moisture contributes to the formation of rain clouds, which release the water back onto the rainforest.

2.5. Soil Erosion Control

2.5.1. Roots of the trees will bind soil to prevent soil erosion, the tree leaves will also intercept water reducing impact of rainsplash erosion

3. Conservation Efforts

3.1. Establishment of Protected Areas

3.1.1. The World Bank, funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the German Development Bank (KfW), is attempting to slow the rate of deforestation

3.1.1.1. It does this by increasing the number of hectares in protected areas in the Amazon basin, balancing conservation goals and the demand for natural resources.

3.2. Debt for National Swaps

3.2.1. The United States and Brazil signed an agreement converting $21m (£13.5m) of Brazilian debt into a fund to protect tropical ecosystems.

3.3. Sustainable Exploitation

3.3.1. Agro-forestry - growing trees and crops at the same time. Lets farmers take advantage of shelter from the canopy of trees. Prevents soil erosion and the crops benefit from the nutrients from the dead organic matter.

3.3.2. Selective logging - trees are only felled when they reach a particular height. This allows young trees a guaranteed life span and the forest will regain full maturity after around 30-50 years.

4. Threats

4.1. Fuelwood Collection

4.1.1. estimated that 40 percent of the world (2.6 billion people) rely on fuelwood or charcoal as their primary source of energy

4.1.2. People use this fuel source for things such as heating and cooking

4.1.3. Fuelwood consumption has increased 250% since 1960

4.2. Timber for construction and furniture

4.2.1. Logging is one of the leading causes of deforestation.

4.2.2. Local people had often rely on harvesting wood from rainforests for firewood and building materials. However due to the influx of people this method is no longer sustainable

4.2.2.1. By buying certain wood products, people in United States and Europe are directly contributing to the destruction of rainforests

4.3. Agricultural Expansion

4.3.1. Generally forest clearers use slash-and-burn techniques to clear land

4.3.2. Fertilizer may be washed into local streams, affecting fish and aquatic life

4.4. Mineral Extraction

4.4.1. Mining is generally very destructive to the environment. It is one of the main causes of deforestation.

4.4.1.1. In order to mine, trees and vegetation are cleared and burned. Huge bulldozers and excavators to extract the metals and minerals from the soil.

4.5. Reservoirs

4.5.1. large areas of forest are flooded due to the flatness of the basin) and killing off local wildlife.

4.5.1.1. the dams have the effect of destroying aquatic habitats and affecting fish populations, displacing indigenous peoples, and adding carbon to the atmosphere.

4.6. Global Climate Change

4.6.1. tropical forests and their species have less resilience to climate change due to fragmentation from human activities

4.6.1.1. ecological communities will need to migrate due to climate change, this will be more difficult because of habitat alteration and fragmentation.

4.7. Exploitation of Individual Species

4.7.1. Due to deforestation orangutan numbers have fallen as sparse areas of rainforest have led to fragmentation of the species resulting in a smaller gene pool and less breeding opportunities