Last Updated 20 Aug 2020

The Daintree Rainforest

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The Daintree Rainforest is located in the tropics, the tropics is found surrounding the equator, between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. There is a reasonable amount of rainfall in the area to sustain the rainforest and the area also receives more sunlight, since it lies on the equator, which effects its temperature.

Features and Characterises

The Daintree Rainforest has more precipitation in the summer months with a maximum temperature of 32 degrees Celsius and is more humid, and drier conditions in the winter with a high of 26 degrees Celsius, the climate is warm and moist all year round. With great mountain ranges, fast flowing streams and waterfalls. In the wet regions of the rainforest, approximately 3 000 plant species were found, therefore the rainforest is extremely green, dense and lush. There are many species of possums, bats, insects, etc. However, one of the most well-known animals in the Daintree Rainforest is the Estuarine Crocodile. Idiospermum is a plant that is also well-known for its nickname (shown below).

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Geographical Process

One geographical process that occurs in the Daintree rainforest is transpiration, it occurs when water is released from plants, after water is absorbed by the plant through the roots, one percent of the water is used for growth, then the remaining water is evaporated from the under the plant’s leaves or what is called the stomata. The effect of this on the rainforest is that as the plants release water vapour, the moisture helps create a thick cloud cover over the rainforest, as a result ‘the plants help seed the rain’ according to scientists in 2012, which means that they contribute to more rainfall throughout the year.

Transpiration can cause landslides, because of the water vapour gathered causing precipitation and when the top layer of soil is damp and is in a slanted position or if the terrain is steep, the landslide starts. This usually happens when the bottom or the ‘toe’ of the slope is broken off. Landslides can block roads, damage vehicles and the people in the vehicles, which will lead to possible death, vegetation is rip out from the ground and large rocks and large amounts of soil will erode, which changes the shape of the terrain. It is not known how long it takes for a landslide to end, however after heavy rain, it may take days or weeks.

Effects of Human Activity

The Daintree rainforest has been heavily affected by deforestation, trees are cut down every day, in order to build new roads, and because of this, animals are being run over. Tourism also has a bad affect on the Daintree rainforest, since buses and other forms of transport for the tourists are used, consequently carbon dioxide is released into the environment and many species of animals are threatened, this also contributes to climate change.

When trees are cut down the water cycle is distracted and causes major problems to the climate and plants are not getting as much water as they did before, the trees also absorb carbon dioxide, which is beneficial for the environment. The number of flora present before the European Settlement was 25% more than now according to the Blogspot website. However, tourism teaches people about how to take care and preserve the rainforest. Human activity has heavily affected the biodiversity of the rainforest.

Strategy Used to Protect the Rainforest

After many years of logging, the government decided that they should preserve the biodiversity of the Daintree rainforest. In 1987, logging of the Daintree rainforest was terminated, this allowed the ecosystem to recover and regrow its flora, however because the Daintree rainforest has a great source of wood, tree removers will have to find other places to log, which can disadvantage the government economically.

This ban is good for the rainforest, as it helps increase the number to flora in the rainforest. Also cutting down trees in the rainforest is still banned and other harmful practices e.g. hunting of wildlife, mainly cassowaries since they are rare, etc. The Daintree National Park has also educated the public about the significance of the area and why they need to sustain the area for future generations.

Recommendations for Sustaining Life in the Daintree

The first strategy for sustaining life in the Daintree rainforest is to plant more plants in the forest to boost the number of florae in the area and to help improve the biodiversity of the area. This also contributes to the continuation of the water cycle, which will grow more plants and reduce the risk of extinction of plant species. Growing more trees will reduce the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere and also it means that we are also growing more habitats for the fauna to inhabit.

Secondly, instead of using vehicles the run on fuel and emit carbon dioxide into the atmosphere to transport the tourists around the rainforest, use alternate vehicles, which run on electricity or walk the tourists around the forest, this will not endanger the health of fauna that inhale the poisonous gas and will not destroy the environment. Although trees and plant take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen, there is not enough to take in everything and the gases release into the air and therefore the trees cannot absorb them, this leads to global warming. Therefore, planting more trees and cutting down on use of carbon dioxide emitting vehicles will help the Daintree rainforest to survive.

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