Tropical and Subtropical Landscapes of the Andes and Temperate Forests of the Southern Andean Region The article

have discussed about the different regional environments of South America. Now, I am only looking at the characteristics of two environments in the region. Tropical and subtropical Andes are one of the most important regions in the world from the viewpoint of biodiversity conservation. The temperate forest of Southern Andean Region is one of the largest areas of temperate forest in the Southern Hemisphere and is rich in endemic species. Landscapes and land cover of the two regions are largely because of geological processes that happened million years ago. South American Plate interacted with the Nazca Plate, involving the subduction of the latter and creating components of the present Andes in central and southern South America. Soil development in southern Andes has been strongly influenced by volcanism. Aside from that the formation of the Southern Andes is also due to repeated glaciation. The two environments composed of different plant and animal species interacting in the ecosystem. Aside from differences in climatic conditions between the two regional environments, less precipitation occur in temperate Southern Andean region compared to the tropical Andes, there is also a difference between the plant species that are present in each environment. This is due to the different adaptation of plants in the environment. For example, in the tropical Andes, there are different kinds of vegetation—forests, shrublands, grasslands, high Andes, and wetlands, wherein different species of plant and animals are found. In temperate Southern Andean region, forests are predominantly composed of broadleaved trees and few evergreen conifers with needle leaves. As the mean annual temperature decline, so do species richness and total biomass in these rainforests. Therefore, there is more species that can be found in the tropical region and it is more diverse. Both regions suffer from natural disturbances like tectonism, forest fires and strong winds but the temperate Southern Andean region is greatly affected by strong winds than the tropical Andes. Glacial deposition and associated flooding affected the habitats in Southern Andean region. Human activities have affected both environmental regions. Andes have been an important center of domestication. The tropical Andean landscapes support vegetation types for different species. Most of the forests, shrublands, grasslands, highlands and wetlands have been modified by humans through burning, forests clearance, drainage, and introduction of exotic species or extraction of firewood or medicinal. Some parts of the forest are also converted agricultural use. Effects of these human activities include loss of plant species diversity, habitat loss and decreased diversity and population size for native wildlife, loss of valuable timber resources, soil degration, loss of many non-timber forest products like fruits, medicine, etc., increase of fire hazards, and decrease of water yield for human consumption.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful