This page features a Tropical ecosystems game quiz. Learn about the tropics, where they are located, the animals and vegetation in these regions, the tropical evergreen forest and more. This science game is a multiple choice test online for 3rd to 7th grades.
We all know that deforestation has significant negative impacts on tropical ecosystems. In the past, poor farmers were responsible for most of the deforestation, but today a much larger share of the deforestation is done by export-oriented industries. Corporations can systematically cut down forests and are much more responsible for the environmental impact than small farmers. Hence, green groups can target these companies more easily than small farmers.
The net present value of standing forests for climate regulation was greater than the carbon value of tropical forests at 30% of sites studied. In Brazil, the combined value of climate regulation and carbon was greater than the market price of cropland. Although this value is low, the value of forest ecosystem services to society is substantial. Net present value is the lower bound of an ecosystem's value. In addition to carbon, tropical ecosystems also provide services such as regulating extreme heat in agriculture.
Because the distribution and density of tropical forests is greater than that of other land types, they are particularly well suited to contribute to climate risk management. However, effective management of these forests and climate risks requires increased collaboration between public and private actors. Without a solid policy and institutional framework, multilateral agreements will have little meaning at the national level. And even if they are signed, they may not be implemented unless there is a clear policy and institutional framework.
In intact tropical ecosystems, the genetic diversity of species is greatest. As a rule, species live side by side in small areas. After millions of years of struggle with predators, species have evolved a range of defense mechanisms, and specializations. These complex adaptations allow species to outcompete their rivals and exploit resources unavailable to generalists. While the rainforest is rich in species, there are few unoccupied niches. The result is that species are incredibly specialized and diverse.
There are two types of estimates of diversity. An estimate of genetic diversity is expressed as a percentage of polymorphic loci in a population or region. Genetic diversity estimates are then calculated for each region. Genetic structure is grouped by population type and region. Genetic diversity in tropical ecosystems is higher in some regions and lower in others. The Hawaiian archipelago dataset illustrates how diversity is measured.
In the complex systems of tropical ecosystems, the genotype of a single tree can influence ecosystem processes and associated species. In particular, it can influence parasitic plants and animals. This, in turn, influences species that depend on the presence of epiphytic plants or invertebrates. Genetic diversity within a single tree species is also unknown. However, genetic variation among tree species may be lower if the ecosystem is more complex.
Canopy structure is important for understanding forest function, but the details of canopy composition are not yet all known. In this study, we measured LAI across five different tropical forests. The composition of LAI varied across chronosequences, but the overall percentage contribution of trees to the total LAI remained constant. For example, trees made up nearly three-quarters of the top LAI in 18-year-old secondary forests, while palms contributed almost one-half of the total LAI in old growth.
The physical structure of the canopy is independent of species composition, so it could be preserved even as the floristic composition of the canopy changes. Furthermore, canopy structure can be correlated with different ecological questions, such as whether a tropical forest is stable or is undergoing an expansion. Hence, the importance of canopy structure cannot be overemphasized. For this reason, canopy structure measurements should be undertaken regularly. And they should be performed with an accurate instrument.
Disturbances and forest fragmentation are the biggest threats to the survival of tropical forests. These fragments can alter forest canopy structure in the short term by affecting tree growth, tree mortality, and microclimate. However, long-term effects of fragmentation are not fully understood because they require several decades to manifest. The size of a fragment can confound the effect of edges on canopy structure. Airborne light detection and ranging can be used to quantify the effects of fragments on the canopy structure.
The soils of tropical rainforests contain a range of different compositions. These soils are composed of two main orders: Oxisols and Ultisols. The former are rich in aluminum and iron oxides, and contain relatively little organic matter. In contrast, the latter contain relatively high amounts of organic matter. They are also relatively poor in nutrients. But there is a way to increase soil productivity by improving the composition of the soils in these ecosystems.
In a tropical ecosystem, the main factors influencing the composition of soil microorganisms are moisture, drainage, and water-holding capacity. These properties affect the availability of nutrients, including K, P, and C. Furthermore, the life span of plants is significantly longer than that of soil microorganisms. Therefore, tree roots may take up nutrients from dead microorganisms. Soil carbon storage is regulated by both of these factors.
Despite the diverse composition of soils, they share common characteristics such as high levels of biodiversity. Plant species, which comprise the majority of tropical forests, are often highly diverse. They typically grow on heavily weathered soils, and the distribution of plant species is highly variable within the region.
In Southeast Asia, forests are dominated by dipterocarps, while forests in Africa and the Neotropics have abundant leguminous trees and Oxisols developed from older parent material. Soil acidification occurs due to the removal of base cations. Plants then release protons from their roots to maintain internal charge balance.
While there are some examples of indigenous communities in the Neotropics engaging in unsustainable agricultural practices, the vast majority of these efforts do not cause significant environmental damage. Indigenous agriculture relies on indigenous plants and animals, low population density, and a well-matched relationship between people and their ecosystems. As a result, the intensity of agricultural activity has increased significantly over time. However, the changing land use patterns have led to significant soil erosion and forest fires.
Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Human History, Liverpool John Moores University and the Ecole francaise d'Extreme-Orient sought to better understand the extent of human impact on tropical ecosystems. Their findings showed that these ecosystems have been altered by humans for at least 45,000 years. In fact, tropical forests were not pristine natural areas before the advent of industrialization and modern agriculture. Today, several studies show that climate change is threatening tropical forest ecosystems and their native wildlife.
Human activities have a significant impact on tropical ecosystems. The majority of the world's species are found in tropical ecosystems. These ecosystems harbour 42% of the world's biomass carbon reserves, making them the most sensitive to elevated carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere. Because these ecosystems harbour so many species, they are critical to both conservation and the world's carbon balance. However, no experimental studies have been conducted to determine how native tropical plant communities will respond to elevated atmospheric CO2.