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Amazon Rainforest Ecosystem

Science assessment on the Amazon Rainforest

Lachie Walker

on 18 October 2012

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Transcript of Amazon Rainforest Ecosystem

The Ecosystem of the Amazon Rainforest The Amazon Rainforest is located in South America. Taking up 5.5 million square kilometers the Amazon stretches into nine countries. The rainforest ecosystem is characterized by high annual rainfall and a tropical climate; this means warm temperatures and high humidity. The definition of an Abiotic Factor is a non-living condition that influences an ecosystem, these include, temperature, precipitation and soil. Climate in the Amazon is humid and warm with an average temperature of 26 degrees Celsius. Changes in climate are more apart in day and night then seasonal changes. One of the majorly influential Abiotic Factor in the Amazon Rainforest is the relationship between the rain and the soil. Because soil in the Amazon is so poor plants have to store most nutrients inside them, but during the wet season the Amazon river rises so much it floods part of the forest. This allows the soil to absorb nutrients and the forest lives until the next wet season. Producer: A producer is an organism that can create its own food via photosynthesis. In the Amazon Rainforest bromeliads provide the first level of the food chain. Primary Consumer: A primary consumer is a herbivorous heterotroph that consumes the producer for energy. The capybara is one of the primary consumers in the Amazon. Secondary Consumer: Aboitic Factors A secondary consumer is an omnivorous heterotroph that consumes the primary consumer for energy. The anaconda is an example of a secondary consumer. Mutualistic Relationship A Mutualistic Relationship is a relationship were two different species of organisms are interdependent: they each benefit from each other. An example is the Amazon's largest water lily (Victoria amazonica). this lily opens at night to revealing a bright white flower which attract insects who drink the nectar it produces. At dawn the flower closers to ensure that by the following night each beetle is fully coated in the lilies pollen before opening again. To prevent the insects from pollinating the same flower the lily turns a pink which beetles are not attracted to. Biotic Factors A biotic factor (opposite to Abiotic factor) is a living organism, such as an animal or plant, that affects or influences its environment. An simple example in the amazon is the trees canopy which provides many things (shade,water) that without it ground covering plants and animals would not be able to survive. Tertiary Consumer: A tertiary consumer is a carnivorous heterotroph that feeds on secondary consumers for energy. An example of a tertiary consumer in the amazon rainforest is an jaguar. Decomposer: A decomposer is an organism that breaks down organic material and sends it back into the food web. An example of these in the Amazon is the velvet worm. Detritivore A detritivore is an organism that acquires it nutrients from broken down organic matter. Such an organism is the vermilion waxcap mushroom. Detrivores and Decomposers are almost always interchangeable terms because most organisms that break down organic matter also eat it. A Rainforest ecosystem is characterized by dense woodlands and a humid climate and heavy annual rainfall. A rainforest has four layers of growth: Floor, Understory, Canopy and Emergent layer. Environmental Problems Introduced Species Food Web Global Climate Change is a major environmental problem in the Amazon Rainforest. Because of higher temperatures over the Tropical Atlantic their is a decrease in rainfall over certain areas of the Amazon which causes drought and increases risk of fire. Continuing at this pace a large area of the southern end of the Amazon will be converted from rainforest to savannah. An Introduced species, Africanized Bees (also known as Killer Bees) were imported into the Amazon were they overtook tree hollows of the very rare Spix Macaw nearly driving it to extinction. Apart from this there are very few cases of introduced species in the Amazon Rainforest.
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