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22 Cards in this Set

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Tropical Rainforests

Tropical: occur in mountains, 1000+ metres above sea level: montane rainforests.

Lowland tropical rainforests

Lowland tropical: form the majority of the world’s tropical rainforests. Grow at elevations general below 1000 metres.


Heavy downpours: convectional rainfall, results in hot and humid conditions. Rainforests thrive in hot, wet conditions experienced in the equatorial regions.

Temperate Rainforests

Temperate rainforests: large area between tropics and polar regions is called the temperate zone. Rainforests grow there too. often occur in north america, tasmania, new zealand, China.


Biosphere collection of all earth’s life forms.


Hydrosphere: 97 per cent of earth’s water is found in salty oceans and the remainder is vapour int eh atmosphere and as liquid in the groundwater, lakes,rivers, glaciers and snowfields.


Lithosphere: consists of the core, mantle and crust of Earth.


Atmosphere: contains all of earth’s air.


Emergents: tallest trees ranging from 30-50 metres in height. Rise up out of canopy, Huge crowns of leaves and abundant wildlife thrive in the plentiful sunlight.


Canopy: array of treetops that form a barrier between the sun and the underlying layers. Height varying: 20-45 metres. Layer contains microclimate and supports a variety of plants and animals.Taller trees host vines called lianas that intertwine branches. other plants called epiphytes use the tree trunks and branches as anchors in order to capture water and sunlight.


Understorey: layer contains mixture of smaller trees and fern that receive approx. 5 % of sunlight. Many animals move in darkness and humidity.

Forest Floor

Forest Floor: dominated by thick carpet of leaves, fallen trees and huge roots. Rainforest soils are generally poor, despite the impression of being fertile, leaves and other matter are recycled by many organisms to make a living compost. the roots of the trees take these nutrients from the soil before heavy rain washes them away, a process called leaching. Larger animals also roam through this layer.


Mountains rise above the surrounding landscape. Often have steep sides and high peaks. Result of processes operating inside the Earth.


Deserts are areas of low rainfall arid or dry environment. Can experience temperature extremes, Not all deserts are hot: Antarctica is the largest desert and the Gobi desert, Asia is also a cold desert.


Grasslands: /savanna. sometimes seen as traditional landscapes found between forests and deserts. Contain grasses of different heights and coarseness and small or widely spread trees. Often inhabited by grazing animals.

Polar Regions

Polar Regions: and tundra. Characterised by permafrost. too cold for trees to grow. Vegetation such as dwarf shrubs,grasses and lichens have adapted to the climate.


Karst landscapes: Form when mildly acidic water flows over soluble rock ( eg. limestone). small fractures form which increase in size over time and lead to underground drainage. common landforms: limestone pavestones disappearing rivers, reappearing springs, sinkholes, caves and karst mountains. Approx. 25% of the world’s population obtains water from karst aquifers.

Aquatic Landscapes

Aquatic landscapes: cover around 3/4 of the Earth and can be classified as freshwater or marine.


Islands are areas of land which are completely surrounded by ocean. They can be continental(lie on a continental shelf- an extension of a continent that is submerged beneath the sea. Islands rise from the ocean floor and are generally volcanic.

Rainforests role in watercycle

Rainforests role in water cycle:Trees absorb carbon dioxide and store it as carbon.The dark canopy absorbs heat rather than reflecting it. The canopy shelters lower plants making it cooler near the ground. Leaves of the trees absorb moisture. Water is released slowly into rivers and the roots collect moisture.

Why are Rainforests disappearing?

Why are rainforests disappearing? Commercial Logging: Clear-felling: all trees are removed by either machinery or a chainsaw. Selective logging: Only the best and most valuable trees are cut down. Farming: Rainforests grow in many developing countries who struggle to provide the basic necessities of life. Their populations increase and the land on which the forest is on is more valuable to them then the forest itself. Cattle ranches 60%Large-scale commercial agriculture 1%Fires,mining, urbanisation, road construction and dams: 3%Logging, illegal and legal: 3%Small Scale agriculture: 33%


Regions: Eastern highlandsCentral LowlandsCoastal LowlandsGreat Western Plateau