What is an Ecosystem?
An ecosystem is a system in which organisms interact with each other and
with their environment.
Centred along the
Hot all year (25-30C)
Very high (over
Tall trees forming a canopy; wide
variety of species.
Greatest range of different animal
species. Most live in canopy layer
These are non-living, such as air, water, heat and rock.
These are living, such as plants, insects, and animals.
Between latitudes 5- 30
north & south of Equator.
Warm all year (20-30C)
Wet + dry season
Grasslands with widely spaced
Large hoofed herbivores and
Plant life occurring in a particular region or time.
Found along the tropics
of Cancer and Capricorn.
Hot by day (over 30C)
Cold by night
Very low (below
Lack of plants and few species;
adapted to drought.
Many animals are small and
nocturnal: except for the camel.
Animal life of any particular region or time.
Between latitudes 40-60
north of Equator.
Warm summers + mild
Variable rainfall (5001500m /year)
Mainly deciduous trees; a variety
Animals adapt to colder and
warmer climates. Some migrate.
Far Latitudes of 65 north
and south of Equator
Cold winter + cool
summers (below 10C)
Low rainfall (below
Small plants grow close to the
ground and only in summer.
Low number of species. Most
animals found along coast.
Found within 30 north
south of Equator in
Warm water all year
round with temperatures
Wet + dry seasons.
Rainfall varies greatly
due to location.
Small range of plant life which
includes algae and sea grasses that
shelters reef animals.
Dominated by polyps and a
diverse range of fish species.
Food Web and Chains
Simple food chains are useful in
explaining the basic principles
behind ecosystems. They show only
one species at a particular trophic
level. Food webs however consists
of a network of many food chains
Plants take in nutrients to build into new
organic matter. Nutrients are taken up when
animals eat plants and then returned to the soil
when animals die and the body is broken down
Tropical Rainforest Biome
This is the surface layer of
vegetation, which over time
breaks down to become humus.
Tropical rainforest cover about 2 per cent of the Earths surface yet they are
home to over half of the worlds plant and animals.
The total mass of living
organisms per unit area.
Interdependence in the rainforest
A rainforest works through interdependence. This is where the plants and
animals depend on each other for survival. If one component changes, there
can be serious knock-up effects for the entire ecosystem.
A biome is a large geographical area of distinctive plant and animal groups,
which are adapted to that particular environment. The climate and geography
of a region determines what type of biome can exist in that region.
Distribution of Tropical Rainforests
Tropical rainforests are centred along the
Equator between the Tropic of Cancer and
Capricorn. Rainforests can be found in South
America, central Africa and South-East Asia.
The Amazon is the worlds largest rainforest
and takes up the majority of northern South
America, encompassing countries such as
Brazil and Peru.
The Thar Desert is located on the border between India and Pakistan in Southern
Asia. With India soon becoming the
most populated country in the world in the next five years. With this, more people
will plan to live in the desert.
Distribution of the worlds hot deserts
Most of the worlds hot deserts are found in
the subtropics between 20 degrees and 30
degrees north & south of the Equator. The
Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn run through
most of the worlds major deserts.
Hot Deserts inhabitants
Climate of Hot Deserts
- People often live in large
open tents to keep cool.
- Food is often cooked
slowly in the warm sandy
- Head scarves are worn
by men to provide
protection from the Sun.
Evening temperatures rarely fall below 22C.
Due to the presence of clouds, temperatures rarely
rise above 32C.
Most afternoons have heavy showers.
At night with no clouds insulating, temperature drops.
The most productive biomes which have the greatest
biomass- grow in climates that are hot and wet.
Climate of Tropical Rainforests
Adaptations to the desert
Very little rainfall with less than 250 mm per
It might only rain once every two to three
Temperate are hot in the day (45 C) but are
cold at night due to little cloud cover (5 C).
In winter, deserts can sometimes receive
occasional frost and snow.
-Large roots to absorb water soon after
-Needles instead of leaves to reduce
surface area and therefore transpiration.
-Hump for storing fat (NOT water).
-Wide feet for walking on sand.
-Long eyelashes to protect from sand.
Different parts of the hot
desert ecosystem are
closely linked together
and depend on each
other, especially in a
such a harsh
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