This science game will help children learn and review tropical ecosystems; and in particular, they will learn how deforestation of tropical rainforests puts the planet at risk. Begin by reading all about the tropics below before playing the game.
How deforestation affects tropical ecosystems
Deforestation can have serious negative effects on the tropical ecosystems, as we all know. While poor farmers used to be the main cause of deforestation in the past, today, a greater proportion of deforestation is caused by export-oriented businesses. Corporations are able to systematically reduce forests and can be more responsible for the environment than small farmers. These companies are more likely to be targeted by green groups than small farmers.
At 30% of the sites examined, the net present value of standing forest for climate regulation was higher than that of tropical forests. Brazil's combined climate regulation and carbon value was higher than the price of cropland. This value is not high, but the forest ecosystem services that society receives are significant. The lower bound of ecosystem value is called net present value. Other than carbon, tropical ecosystems provide services such as the regulation of extreme heat in agriculture.
They are especially well-suited to climate risk management because of their higher density and distribution than other land types. Effective management of these forests, and other climate risks, requires greater collaboration between the public and private sectors. Multilateral agreements won't have any impact on the national level if they don't provide a clear policy and an institutional framework. Even if multilateral agreements are signed, they will not be implemented without a clear policy or institutional framework.
The genetic diversity of species in intact tropical ecosystems is highest. In small areas, species often live side-by-side. After millions of years of fighting predators, many species have developed a variety of defense mechanisms and specializations. These complex adaptations enable species to outcompete rivals and take advantage of resources that are not available to generalists. The rainforest is full of species, but there are very few unoccupied niches. This is why species are so specialized and varied.
There are two types to estimate diversity. A percentage of polymorphic loci within a population or area is an estimate of genetic diversity. The region's genetic diversity is then estimated. The genetic structure of a region is then grouped according to its population type. The genetic diversity of tropical ecosystems is greater in certain regions than in others. This dataset from the Hawaiian archipelago illustrates how diversity can be measured.
The complex ecosystems of tropical ecosystems can be influenced by the genotype of one tree. It can also influence the behavior of parasitic animals and plants. This can have an impact on species that depend upon epiphytic plants and invertebrates. It is not known if there is genetic diversity within one tree species. If the ecosystem is more complex, genetic variation may be lower among tree species.
While canopy structure is crucial for understanding forest function, the details of its composition are still not fully understood. This study measured LAI in five tropical forests. Although the composition of LAI changed across chronosequences the overall contribution of trees to total LAI remained the same. For example, in 18-year old secondary forests, trees accounted for nearly three quarters of the top LAI, while in old growth, palms accounted for almost half of the total LAI.
The canopy's physical structure is independent of its species composition. It could therefore be maintained even if the canopy's floristic composition changes. The canopy structure can also be used to determine ecological questions such as whether a tropical rainforest is expanding or stabilizing. It is important to emphasize the importance of canopy structure. It is important to measure canopy structures regularly. They should also be done with an accurate instrument.
The greatest threats to tropical forests' survival are disturbances and forest fragmentation. The short-term effects of fragmentation on forest canopy structure can be detrimental to tree growth, mortality, and microclimate. Long-term effects of fragmentation remain unknown because they can take several decades for them to manifest. It is possible for a fragment to be larger than the canopy structure. To quantify the impact of fragments on the canopy structure, airborne light detection and ranging are possible.
There are many different types of soils found in tropical rainforests. These soils can be divided into two major orders: Ultisols or Oxisols. These soils are rich in iron oxides and aluminum, but have very little organic matter. The latter, however, contain a lot of organic matter. They also have a low level of nutrients. There is a way to improve soil productivity in these ecosystems by changing the soil composition.
The main factors that influence the composition of soil microorganisms in a tropical ecosystem are moisture, drainage, as well as water-holding ability. These properties influence the availability of nutrients such as K, P and C. Additionally, plants have a significantly longer life span than soil microorganisms. Tree roots can absorb nutrients from dead microorganisms. These two factors regulate soil carbon storage.
They share many common traits, such as high levels biodiversity, despite their diverse soil compositions. The majority of tropical forests are home to a wide range of plant species. They are often found in heavily weathered soils and their distribution is highly variable within the region.
Forests in Southeast Asia are dominated by dipterocarps. However, Africa and the Neotropics contain abundant leguminous plants and Oxisols that were created from older parent material. The removal of base cations causes soil acidification. To maintain their internal charge balance, plants release protons from the roots.
Tropical ecosystems are being affected by human activity
Although there are instances of unsustainable agriculture practices being used by some Neotropical communities, most of these practices do not cause any significant environmental damage. Indigenous agriculture is based on native plants and animals, low populations density, and a close relationship between peoples and their environment. The intensity of agricultural activity has been increasing over time. However, changes in land use patterns have resulted in significant soil erosion and forest fires.
Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for the Study of Human History and Liverpool John Moores University sought to understand the impact of humans on tropical ecosystems. These ecosystems were altered by humans over at least 45,000 year, according to their findings. The fact is that tropical forests weren't pristine natural areas prior to the advent of modern agriculture and industrialization. Numerous studies today show that climate change has a negative impact on tropical forest ecosystems, as well as their native wildlife.
The impact of human activities on tropical ecosystems is significant. Tropical ecosystems are home to the majority of species in the world. These ecosystems hold 42% of the global biomass carbon reserves. This makes them most sensitive to high carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. These ecosystems are crucial to conservation and global carbon balance because they house so many species. No experimental studies have been done to assess how the native tropical plant communities will react to increased atmospheric CO2.