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Amazon Rainforest Project

Amazon Rainforest Project by Austin Guo and Leah Rodriguez
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Austin Guo

on 16 October 2012

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Transcript of Amazon Rainforest Project

Amazonia Project by Austin Guo and Leah Rodriguez General Information The majority of the Amazon Rainforest is in Brazil.
Small amounts are also in
Peru
Colombia
Venezuela
Ecuador
Bolivia
Guyana
Suriname
French Guinea. The Lungs of Our Planet The Amazon Rainforest is a moist broadleaf forest that covers 1.4 billion acres.
It the largest tropical rainforest on Earth.
The Amazon Rainforest (also called Amazonia) is home to the most voluminous river in the world: the Amazon River.
It is sometimes known as the "Lungs of our planet" because it continuously recycles carbon dioxide into oxygen.
About 20% of the Earth's oxygen is produced by the Amazon Rainforest. The Amazon Rainforest has a tropical climate, meaning that it is hot, humid, and rainy year-round.
Its temperature is approximately the same all year, around 27 degrees Celsius.
It warms up only a little bit in the summer.
The forest has about 9 feet of precipitation every year.
Most rainfall occurs during
fall
winter
spring (General Facts, Size, Map, and Climate) Definition of a Rainforest Features of the Rainforest Flora and Fauna (Plants and Animals of the rainforest) Threats to the Rainforest Conclusion Climate General Facts Map Amazon River The Amazon River is the largest, most voluminous river in the entire world.
It is the second longest river.*
The Amazon is approximately 20-26 meters deep.
It is about 6,400 kilometers long.
The river is home to all kinds of wildlife.
It has by far the highest waterflow, and the average discharge is greater than the next 7 largest rivers' waterflows combined (not including Madeira and Rio Negro, tributaries of the Amazon)! The Amazon River has the largest drainage basin in the world, covering about 7,050,000 square kilometers of land.
It floods every year, each river and tributary flooding at different times.
Most of the rivers start flooding in November and don't start to recede until June.
The river accounts for approximately one-fifth of the world's total river flow!
The Amazon River has over 1,100 tributaries, and some major ones are
Madeira
Purus
Yapura
Tocantins
Araguaia
Jurua
Rio Negro
Tapajos
Xingu *There are some disputes about the length of the Amazon, and studies by Brazilian scientists show that the Amazon could be longer than the Nile at 6,650 kilometers long. The length of both these rivers is still open for debate and interpretation. There were many indigenous people in the Amazon Rainforest.
Before the Europeans invaded Brazil, approximately 10 million natives lived in the Amazon Rainforest, including 2,000 nations and tribes.
After the Europeans settled, there were only about 200,000 indigenous peoples left.
Some of the major tribes were
Amanye
Baniwa
Caboclos
Dowlut
Kadiweu
Korubo
Marinaha
Ofaye
Panara
Quilombolo
Terena
Witoto
Yanomami
Yawanawa
Zuruaha Indigenous Tribes of the Amazon Amphibians The Amazon's amphibians are mainly all variations of frogs or toads.
Of the 4,000 species of frogs in the world, more than 427 are found in the Amazon.
The frogs can live almost anywhere because the humidity will keep their skin moist.
Amazonian frogs are mainly found in trees to hide from predators. Poison Dart Frog The poison dart frog is one of the most common species of frogs found in the Amazon.
They are very colorful and small, but are dangerously toxic too.
Poison excreted from these notorious animals' skin will paralyze or kill another animal.
2.5 grams of the poison will kill an adult human being.
They live mainly on the ground, but some also live in trees.
The poison dart frog gets its name from an indigenous tribe that covers the tips of their arrows with the frog poison, hence the name "dart frog." Insects The Amazon Rainforest has 2.5 million different species of insects.
The greatest abundance of insects can be found in the canopy of the rainforest.
The reason for the huge variety of insects is that the forest is over 100 million years old.
The insects and plants need each other to survive; most species of Amazonian plants can only be pollinated by one species of moth or beetle.
Many insects are being driven into extinction from the destruction of the rainforest because they rely so much on the plants and environment. Leaf-Cutter Ants These ants are one of the most widespread insects of the Amazon.
Is one of the primary consumers of vegetation in the Amazon.
Leaf-cutter ants have a surprising diet because these ants actually feast on the fungi on the leaves rather than the leaves themselves.
They build giant hills for themselves, ranging up to 30 feet wide and 20 feet deep.
Their large jaws can break through human skin. Mammals There are approximately 800 species of mammals in the Amazon.
Some very well known types of mammals in the Amazon are the
Bush Baby
Capybara
Jaguar
Squirrel Monkey
Tapir Capybara Is the world's largest rodent.
Weighs up to 150 pounds and are about 4 feet long.
It resembles an oversized guinea pig and its eyes, ears, and nostrils are on the top of its head because it spends a lot of time in the water.
It often sleeps with only its nose out of water.
Their average life span is about 10 years in the wild.
They are often hunted for their meat and brown and red hide. Reptiles The Amazon contains just under 500 species of reptiles.
They range in size from 1 inch long to 30 feet long!
Some of the main types of reptiles are the
Anaconda
Caiman
Geckos
Tortoises
Skinks
Iguanas Caiman Tapir Leaf insect Poison dart frogs Anaconda Is one of the largest snakes in the entire world.
The anaconda is a nonvenomous snake and it constricts its prey.
Although the anaconda isn't poisonous, it is a very dangerous animal to be around because it can swallow a cow and weighs as much as a horse.
There are many species of anaconda, but the name usually refers to only the green anaconda.
Found in the shallow waters of the Amazon River, it spends most of its time in the water.
It can grow over 6.6 meters long. Birds There are over 1,300 species of birds in the Amazon.
The amount of species of birds in the Amazon accounts for 1/3 of the world's bird species.
Most of the birds eat nuts, leaves, or fruits.
A majority of the birds live in the dense undercover of the forest looking for insects or fruit to eat.
Others fly high and prey on mammals, reptiles, and other birds. Harpy eagle Amazonian Parrot The Amazonian parrot is medium size parrot that lives in the New World in the Amazons and Mexico.
There are many types of Amazonian parrots, but the name usually refers to one of the genus Amazona.
They are usually green and yellow.
They have a remarkable ability to mimic human speech and other sounds.
This caused people to want them as pets.
So many parrots are being taken from the wild that they are becoming threatened. Fish The Amazon is teeming with fish, with over 5,600 species of fish.
Many of the fish have diets based on fruits and seeds.
There are many types of fish in the Amazon, including
Piranha
Electric Eels
Catfish
Arapaima
Bull Shark Electric eels Red-Bellied Piranha They are native to the Amazon River.
The Red-bellied piranha's diet consists mainly of
Insects
Worms
Crustaceans
Other fish
Sometimes larger animals
They find prey by scent or by sensing motion using sensors down the sides of their bodies.
Red-bellied piranhas usually feed on dead or dying vertebrates, but are also known to attack healthy animals.
They can grow up to 33 centimeters and 7.7 pounds. "Featured" Plants of the Amazon There are so many plants in the Amazon that just the western half of the Amazon already has the highest diversity of trees in the world.
There are over 80,000 plants species in the Amazon, 40,000 of which regulate global climate and local water cycle.
These plants produce compounds that can be used for medicine and agriculture.
The "featured" plants of the Amazon are
Bromeliads
Lianas
Saprophytes
Strangler Fig
Cacao Tree
Kapok Tree
Orchids
Heliconia
Other Edible Plants Cacao Plant Bromeliads - Plant that acts as a little ecosystem for insects and other small creatures.
Lianas - Vines that characterize the Amazon as a dense rainforest.
Saprophytes - Found on the ground level, these fungi decompose dead plant life.
Strangler Fig - Grows from a fig tree and shoots roots into the ground. Uses host tree to stabilize itself and eventually kills it by stealing nutrients from the it.
Cacao Tree - Can be used to treat headaches, dry lips, skin, coughs, and contains polyphenols that reduce blood pressure and prevent heart disease.
Kapok Tree - Treats dysentery, fever, kidney disease, and asthma. Produces several hundred to several thousand fruits at a time, making it a good food source.
Orchids - Has nearly 20,000 species and they grow on trees rather than the ground.
Heliconia - Lobster claw flowers, named after their unique shape. Has over 200 species and is a popular garden plant.
Other Edible Plants - Bananas, cinnamon, citrus fruit, Brazil nuts, lemons, sugar cane, and coconut. The Amazon Rainforest is the largest rainforest at 1.4 million acres. It covers much of Brazil and little bits of Peru, Columbia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guinea. The Amazon has a tropical climate, meaning that it is hot, humid, and rainy all year long. A rainforest is a forest that receives much rainfall and has four layers, the emergent layer, the canopy layer, the understory layer, and the forest floor layer. The emergent layer contains very tall trees high above the rest of the forest, the canopy contains large trees that shelter the rest of the forest and protect from UV rays, the understory layer is humid and has many plants and insects, and the forest floor has many decomposers and poor soil.
The emergent layer is the layer above other vegetations.
It has an average height of 135 feet high to as much as 240 feet high.
It is the brightest layer, receiving the most sunlight.
Is a safe layer for animals hiding from predators at lower levels.
Is inhabited by
Eagles
Butterflies
Bats
Certain monkeys Emergent Layer A rainforest is a forest characterized by high rainfall.
They are usually very bio diverse, and they are responsible for 28% of the world's oxygen turnover.
Many rainforests are also responsible for producing medicinal plants.
Rainforests are tall, dense jungles.
They have hot and humid climates.
Rainforests have 4 layers
The emergent layer
The canopy
The understory
The forest floor The canopy layer has trees and plants that grow directly beneath the emergent layer.
Is the primary life sustaining source because it grows a surplus of food and provides a roof that covers the other two layers below.
Helps the rainforest maintain a stable environment.
Absorbs ultraviolet rays to protect other plants and animals.
Is able to retain moisture and prevent heavy rains from hurting plants and animals.
Animals and plants that live in the canopy layer include
Birds
Monkeys
Parrots
Sloths
Tree Frogs
Toucans
Canopy Layer Understory Layer Is right under the canopy layer
Doesn't receive much light because the canopy absorbs most of it.
Grows larger leaves that reach for the sunlight.
Has higher humidity than the other parts of a rainforest because it dries out slower.
High humidity allows fungi and decomposers to flourish and drive nutrient cycling, the recycling of substances.
The understory layer has
Jaguars
Leopards
Frogs
Insects Forest Floor Layer It is very dark on the forest floor, so hardly any plants grow here.
The soil is very poor because there is no sunlight and nutrients are being sucked out by massive trees and other plants.
Dead leaves and other things are busy decomposing in this layer.
Moss, ferns, and vines grow all over the forest floor, giving it a dense feeling.
The animals that live in this layer include
Giant anteaters
Beetles
Frogs
Lizards
Snakes
Anaconda
Termites Logging Logging is the cutting down of trees to make space for roads and houses, or to harvest timber.
Logging is controlled in Brazil, but there is significant evidence of illegal logging that is destroying the environment.
Logging will destroy trees that are necessary for animals and plants to live in.
Sites that have experienced logging have higher risk of forest fire, tree fall, changes in microclimate, and soil compaction and erosion.
Since 1970, 600,000 square kilometers of the Amazon have been cleared by logging. Slash and Burn Slash and burn is a process where vegetation is cut, burned, and the ashes are used to provide nutrients for the soil to create more crops.
Allows farming where there is dense vegetation or uncontrollable amounts of insects.
However, slash and burn can lead to
Deforestation - loss of forest cover
Faster erosion - roots and water storages disappear
Infertility of land - gradually loses ability to grow crops, resulting in desertification
Nutrient loss after a long period of time - inability to sustain crops
Biodiversity of a piece of land - species could be driven into extinction or endangerment. Cattle Grazing Cattle grazing is one of the biggest causes of deforestation.
Attributes to nearly 60% of the Amazon's deforestation.
Amazon Rainforest is used to graze cattle, causing destruction of the grass and plant life.
Brazil is the leader of the world's production of beef, so they need more of the Amazon to feed cows with.
Poaching Although poaching in the Amazon Rainforest is illegal, it is the third most profitable illegal job in Brazil.
About 38 million birds, animals, and reptiles are poached in the Amazon each year.
Poaching leads to endangerment and possibly even extinction of animal species.
When plants and animals start becoming threatened, their value starts rising, encouraging poachers to continue with their job. Mining Mining is popular in the Amazon Rainforest because it is rich in natural resources and minerals such as
Gold
Copper
Tin
Nickel
Bauxite
Manganese
Iron Ore
Mining is relied on to make most of the area's income.
Causes deforestation and pollution.
Mining also encroaches on native peoples' land. There is the possibility of clashes or conflicts between miners and the indigenous people. Impact of gold mining In addition, the Amazon Rainforest is home to the Amazon River, the most voluminous river in the entire world with a discharge higher than the next 7 largest rivers. As for natives, there used to be 10 million indigenous people. Now, there are only about 200,000. Some of the major tribes were Amanye, Baniwa, Caboclos, Dowlut, Kadiweu, Korubo, Marinaha, Ofaye, Panara, Quilombolo, Terena, Witoto, Yanomami, Yawanawa, and Zuruaha.
Not only that, but the Amazon is very bio diverse. There are over 2.5 million insect species, 80,000 plant species, 800 mammal species, 500 reptile species, 1,300 bird species, and 5,600 fish species. However, the Amazon Rainforest is threatened, too. Logging, slash and burn, cattle grazing, poaching, and mining have all contributed to deforestation and endangerment of animal and plant species in the Amazon. In addition, the Amazon Rainforest is home to the Amazon River, the most voluminous river in the entire world with a discharge higher than the next 7 largest rivers. As for natives, there used to be 10 million indigenous people. Now, there are only about 200,000. Some of the major tribes were Amanye, Baniwa, Caboclos, Dowlut, Kadiweu, Korubo, Marinaha, Ofaye, Panara, Quilombolo, Terena, Witoto, Yanomami, Yawanawa, and Zuruaha. Not only that, but the Amazon is very bio diverse. There are over 2.5 million insect species, 80,000 plant species, 800 mammal species, 500 reptile species, 1,300 bird species, and 5,600 fish species. However, the Amazon Rainforest is threatened, too. Logging, slash and burn, cattle grazing, poaching, and mining have all contributed to deforestation and endangerment of animal and plant species in the Amazon.
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