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Explain How Human Activities Can Interrupt or Modify the Nutrient Cycles in the Coniferous Forest. Refer in Detail to Examples You Have Studied. Attempt to Show as Annotated Diagrams the Altered Minerals Nutrient Cycle.

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  • September 2013
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Question:
Explain how human activities can interrupt or modify the nutrient cycles in the coniferous forest. Refer in detail to examples you have studied. Attempt to show as annotated diagrams the altered minerals nutrient cycle.

Essay:
The coniferous forest occurs in cold climates to the poleward side of 60 N in Eurasia and North America as well as high attitudes in more temperate latitudes and in Southern Chile. It has an average NPP of 800g/m/yr. There is usually only one layer of vegetation in the forest.

It has long and cold winter. Minimum mean monthly temperatures may be as low as -25 C. There is little moderating influence from the sea and no insolation because the sun never rises in places north of the Arctic Circle. There is also strong wind because of the high wind-chill factor. The moisture is frozen because of the cold weather.

The summer is short in the coniferous forest. However, they are relatively warm as there are long hours of daylight and clear skies. Precipitation is light throughout the year because cold air hold only limited amounts of moisture. Most places are distant from the sea. The slight summer maximum is caused by isolated convectional rainstorms.

The following diagram shows the mineral nutrient cycle of the coniferous forest:

Litter is the largest store of mineral nutrients in the forest. The coniferous trees have developed distinctive adaptations which enable them to tolerate long, cold winters; cool summers with a short growing season; limited precipitation and podsolic soil. They are softwoods. They have uniform height of around 40m. They are adapted to living in a harsh environment.

The coniferous trees have needle-like leaves which are small and the thick cuticles help to reduce transpiration during times of strong winds and during the winter when moisture is frozen that it is unavailable for absorption by the tree roots. Cones shield the seeds and...

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