Describe the characteristic features of the biome of one tropical region you have studied.

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The Amazon Rainforest is the largest rainforest on Earth and covers 40% of South America. It is well known for its great biodiversity with over 2000 species of fish, 500 species of mammals and over 1 million plant species. Its climate is mainly hot and humid with annual temperatures ranging from 20-28 degrees, with a daily rainfall. The TRF has an average rainfall of 2000mm per year. Due to the biome being located 10 degrees north and south of the equator, on a yearly basis the ITCZ shifts towards the equator which allows a more drier period of time. In rainforests such as the Amazon stratification is hugely important as it consists of the emergents which are trees that grow up to 40m high with buttress roots to allow stability and large crowns to enable full potential for photosynthesis. An example of this is the Kapok tree, which is the largest tree in the Amazon. The main canopy is where most of the larger hardwood trees are found and they grow up to 30m high, having slightly less exposure to sunlight, as a result they have larger leaves to allow maximum photosynthesis. The under canopy is where smaller bushes and shrubs are found, here sunlight is fairly limited with only approximately 20% sunlight reaching the plants e.g. the piture plant. The shrub layer grows to approx. 10m high and the vegetation here is best adapted to more humid conditions, with very limited sunlight of 5%. The ground layer consists of a number of decomposers including bacteria and fungi which decompose the important nutrients and minerals and place it back into the ecosystem. As a result the soil becomes fairly rich with minerals. The decomposers work on an annual basis because the larger trees in the main canopy and emergents are deciduous, meaning there is a high leaf- fall all year round due to the non-seasonal climate. 

Charlotte J. GCSE Geography tutor, A Level Geography tutor, A Level P...

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