Tropical rainforests and Malaysia

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Flashcards by muon neutrino, updated more than 1 year ago
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Created by muon neutrino over 5 years ago


GCSE Geography (Living World) Flashcards on Tropical rainforests and Malaysia, created by muon neutrino on 12/23/2015.

Resource summary

Question Answer
Where are tropical rainforests found? In a broad belt through the tropics (between Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn)
Describe the typical pattern of precipitation and temperature in a tropical rainforest.
Describe the soil of a tropical rainforest. Quite infertile due to leaching of nutrients by the heavy rainfall. Acidic. Most nutrients are found at the top of the soil, where dead organic matter decomposes quickly, and so trees often have shallow roots. Trees often have fungi on their roots which increase the efficiency of nutrient uptake.
What are epiphytes? Live on the branches of tall trees but make their own food (photosynthesis) and obtain nutrients from water and air. Therefore they do not damage the plant they live on.
What are lianas? Various woody vines that are rooted to the soil but use trees to climb up to the canopy layer and get access to light.
Why do some trees have buttressed roots? Because they have shallow roots (due to most nutrients being at the surface) and therefore need extra support. Also increases the surface area for diffusion.
How many species of the following types of organism inhabit Malaysian rainforests: 1) Flowering plants 2) Trees 3) Butterflies 1) 5,500 2) 2,600 3) 1,000
What percentage of its forest did Malaysia lose 2000-2012? 14.4%
What are the threats to Malaysian rainforests? Logging Dam construction Mining Commercial plantations Resettlement out of cities Fires
What are some of the problems caused by logging? Reduces biodiversity Requires road construction to bring in machinery to take away timber Difficult to control-- illegal logging practices Soil erosion and mudslides Threatens indigenous tribes (such as the Penan in Sarawak)
What environmental and social damage was caused by the construction of the Bakun Dam? --In 2010, 700 square kilometers of land was flooded, and this area has some of the highest numbers of endemic species. --230 square kilometers of virgin rainforest was cut down. --9000 natives had to be relocated, many of whom were subsistence farmers and did not receive the land they were promised. --Cost $2 billion and yet there is an oversupply of electricity in peninsular Malaysia, which is the place where the HEP was supposed to be used.
Why is deforestation taking place in order to make space for palm oil plantations? --Synthetic rubber has lead to a steep decline in rubber exports, and so palm oil took its place. --Plantation owners receive a 10 year tax break, so people are incentivised to clear land and start a plantation.
What is transmigration? A population policy that moves people from densely populated areas to less densely populated areas. A large area (15,000 ha) of rainforest was felled to accommodate the new settlers, many of whom set up plantations.
What is 'slash and burn'? When some trees are felled and then the land is cleared by burning before being replanted. Done on a small scale by subsistence farmers, and can result in wildfires.
What was the National Forestry Act? An act passed by the Malaysian government in 1977 which aimed to reduce demand for raw timber, increase public awareness of forests, increase forest research, involve local communities in forest projects.
What is the 'Selective Management System'?
What other strategies have been put in place to try to prevent damage to rainforests in Malaysia? --Giving areas a special protected status by designating them Permanent Forest Estates and National Parks. --The Forest Stewardship Council labels products that have been sourced from sustainably managed forests 'FSC' --Promoting Malaysian forests for ecotourism
Name three things that the Forest Stewardship Council does to promote sustainable forestry. 1) Labels products that have been sourced from sustainable managed forests with the 'FSC' label. 2) Educate manufacturers and consumers about the need to buy wood from sustainable sources. 3) Aims to reduce demand for rare and valuable tropical hardwoods.
Name two worldwide initiatives that aim to conserve rainforests. 1) Countries can be relieved of some of their debt in return for maintaining their rainforests. 2) Recognising forests' roles as carbon sinks affords them special protection from the European Commission and NGOs.
Name two drugs derived from tropical rainforests. Quinine Cortisone
What percentage of Malaysia's forest is virgin forest today? 18%
What are some of the problems associated with mining in Sarawak? --areas of rainforest cleared to make way for mining operations and the construction of roads --mining activities lead to the pollution of land and rivers
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