The Rainforest Essay

1429 Words6 Pages
Study of Social and Environment Year 8 RAINFOREST ENVIRONMENTS Semester 2, 2011 Part A: Question (i): State whether or not rainforest soils are deep and rich or shallow and relatively infertile. Give reasons as to why this is the case. Answer (i): A major misunderstanding of rainforest is that they have deep rich and fertile soil. However this is not the case. Rainforest in reality have shallow and relatively infertile soil. The reasons behind this soil having these qualities is because heavy rainfall causes important nutrients needed for a fertile environment to be washes away and/or dissolved into the lower layer of the soil (leaching) thus leaving the forest floor infertile. Once leaching has occurred and removed these nutrients, trees become unable to access fertile soil and remain healthy. Many rainforest trees have developed adaptations which allow them to reach down into the lower levels of soil and receive these nutrients. Such adaptation is known as a “Buttress Roots”. Without these adaptation trees wouldn’t be able to receive nutrients and die out. Question (ii): Discuss the role Humus (Decaying Vegetation Matter) on the forest floor plays in providing nutrients to rainforest soils. • Include a labelled diagram or a series of labelled diagrams to illustrate your answer. Answer (ii): The HUMUS play an important role needed for the survival of the rainforest in that the HUMUS is the provider of nutrients. AHumus is a complex organic substance formed by the result of the breakdown of plant material in a process called humification. Humification is simplymicro-organisms breaking down complex organic materials into simple organic acids which then may be consumed by plants. Humification then becomes a vital stage of the cycling nutrients throughout a rainforest environment. The humus is either
Open Document