Tropical Rainforest

Tropical rainforest is the type of ecosystem, which is characterized by high temperatures and a substantial volume of rainfall. Such kind of ecosystem is typical for Asian countries, Africa, South and Central America. In order to give more specific example, tropical rainforests may be found in the tropic of Capricon and in the tropic of Cancer, which are located approximately twenty eight degrees to the north and to the south of the equator (Cheshire & Orr, 2011).

The structure of the rainforests is presented by woodlands with evergreen vegetation. The ecosystem is composed of three layers: the canopy, the understory and the floor of the forest. The canopy is composed of large, high, old trees, which have wide branches that cover other smaller trees and the ground. This layer is inhabited by lots of birds and animal species (Cheshire& Orr, 2011).

Smaller trees and shrubs are found in the understory. This area does not receive enough sunlight, but can be reached only by thin rays of the sun, that evaded the canopy.

The ecosystem has an important function: it makes the abiotic and biotic components to interact in biogeochemical cycles. The living things (the biotic components) and the non-living things (the abiotic components) are linked up by one complex process of mineral and energy exchange. This process itself makes an ecosystem. Tiny minerals (abiotic) collect in the soil. Plants (biotic) absorb the minerals as food. This is the basis of the nitrogen cycle, as living organisms exhale nitrogen, than it accumulates in the soil and plants can absorb it through roots in order to use it as food and to be able to produce oxygene.

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The carbon cycle takes place where carbon dioxide is exhaled by living things like animals. In their turn, plants absorb it and manufacture oxygene (Schulze & Muller, 2005). Human disturbance to the ecosystem is vividly seen in the processes of logging and deforestation. Natural disturbance of the area is caused by forest fires and floods. The damage of the ecosystem has led to extinction of various animal species. As a consequence of forest fires micro-organisms die and minerals in the soil disappear. Resilience mechanism can be compared to the theory of survival of the fittest. The ecosystem adapts to natural and human destructions by producing new forms of species and living organisms (plants and animals), which can survive in the new environment.

The tropical rainforest ecosystem recovers not only through the resilience mechanisms, but also by means of secondary succession. Species, that used to exist in the ecosystem, are wiped out by man or natural calamities. Succession occurs in the areas that were earlier inhabited. It follows the disruption of the pre-existing community.


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