(poster text) The Amazon basin houses a gigantic ecological machine of global importance being cannibalized for its parts. The human exploitation of Amazonia bears upon the food we eat, the medicine we take, the wood we use, and the temperature outside our doors.
The Basin sprawls over parts of seven countries and embraces a variety of terrains dominated by the world's largest tropical rain forest. Solar radiation and water drive this ecosystem in an endless cycle: Ocean evaporation falls as rain, which returns to the sea or rises, by transpiration from vegetation, back to the atmosphere. On a larger scale, hot tropical air rises along the equatorial belt and spreads toward the Poles, as cold polar air sinks and moves toward the Equator. The earth's rotation deflects this north-south movement, creating trade winds that meet in the intertropical convergence zone. The northeast trade winds transport dust from deserts in Africa, enriching thin rain forest soil an ocean away.
Healthy, the forest is an efficient absorber of carbon dioxide. Yet in the dry season the air often reeks from fires set by homesteaders, cattle ranchers, and others to clear the land. The cutting and burning of trees releases huge amounts of carbon dioxide, helping trap heat, which many sicientists believe is warming the earth through the greenhouse effect. Areas designated deforested are not barren, but remaining patches of trees are often too small to sustain a true rain forest ecosystem. Other lands are lost to mining or covered by water that backs up behind hydroelectric dams. Sanctuaries for Amazonia's wildlife and native peoples are routinely violated, leading to murderous encounters. Some Indian groups hae perished, others are threatened.
Conservationists hope that the stewards of Amazonia may yet head the spirit of naturalist Aldo Leopold: “Harmony with the land is like harmony with a friend” he wrote. “You cannot cherish his right hand and chop off his left.”
Poster Text: Rainforests are the richest environments on Earth and the most ancient ecosystem, they serve as the “gene pool” for the world. One-fifth of all birds and plants evolved in the Amazon basin. An estimated 50 percent of all plants and animal species live in tropical rainforests.
Two-third of all flowering plants are found in the world's tropical rainforests.
A quarter of all the medicines we use come from the rainforest plants.
Rainforest play major role in regulating our atmosphere. Vast amounts of carbon dioxide, a pollutant that contributes to the greenhouse effect, are absorbed during photosynthesis and stored as carbon in the tree's tissues.
Sequoia sempervirens are native to the consistently year round damp environment of heavy seasonal rains, cool air and fog of coastal California and the southwestern corner of Oregon in the United States.
These sequoia are evergreen, monoecious trees living up to 2,200 years; the species include the tallest trees on Earth (up to 115.5 m or 379.1 ft) in height and 8 m (26 ft) diameter at breast height. They are the sole living species of the genus Sequoia in the cypress family Cupressaceae.
Tropical Rainforest Biome Poster Text: The tropical rainforest is found near the equator. Therefore, it receives the most sunlight and rainfall of any terrestrial biomes. The world's largest tropical rainforests are in South America, Africa, and Southeast Asia.
This hot moist biome is home to 15 million species of plants and animals – more than in any other biome. The rainforest hosts thousands of species of trees, plants and flowers. Tropical rainforests receive about 12 hours of sunlight daily yet less than 2 percent of that sunlight reaches the ground. The soil is always shaded and little vegetation survives at ground level. The dense vegetation is often forms three different layers – the canopy (created by the tall trees), the understory, and the ground layer. With constant warmth, near constant water supply and the wide variety of food, an incredibly diverse animal population inhabits the rainforest. Small mammals, primates, birds, reptiles, amphibians,insects, invertebrates and microorganisms are common. Many of these animals and insects use the tall trees and understory for shelter, as hiding places from predators, and as a source of food. The highly competitive and diverse environment has pushed animals to develop strong defenses and camouflage.
Learn about the exotic creatures that call a rainforest home as well as the unusual vegetation. Excellent for car travel; Printed on heavy, high quality card stock; 30 large illustrated cards and special 3 numbered dice; for 2 to 8 players.
The ocelot, Leopardus Pardalis, a small wild cat living in the South and Central American rainforests, and Mexican rainforests, has also been seen in Texas and in Trinidad. The ocelot was held sacred by the Moche civilization of Northern Peru (100 AD to 800 AD), and the artist Salvador Dali kept an ocelot as a pet.
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