Drought in Dry Tropical Forests

Water Freedom System

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"From wet to dry" species in the tropics face increasing problems of water availability (Holbrook and Franco 2005). The dominating ecophysiological stress parameters in dry tropical forests are strong seasonal drought (H2O) and high irradiance (hv, see Chapter 4 for a detailed discussion) with strong interactions between them and with other environmental parameters, i.e.

1. h v ^ T: Absorption of radiation by leaves leads to heating.

2. H2O ^ h v: Heating and drying of the atmosphere, increases the leaf-air water-vapour pressure gradient and thus leads to increased transpirational water loss.

3. H2O ^ T: Water loss can be controlled by closure of stomata, but this then reduces transpirational cooling by evaporation, and leaves heat up further.

4. H2O ^N: Soil water deficit reduces the availability of N; the transpiration stream serves distribution of nutrients in the plant.

In their adaptations plants combine phenological, structural, physiological and biochemical responses.

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Renewable Energy 101

Renewable Energy 101

Renewable energy is energy that is generated from sunlight, rain, tides, geothermal heat and wind. These sources are naturally and constantly replenished, which is why they are deemed as renewable. The usage of renewable energy sources is very important when considering the sustainability of the existing energy usage of the world. While there is currently an abundance of non-renewable energy sources, such as nuclear fuels, these energy sources are depleting. In addition to being a non-renewable supply, the non-renewable energy sources release emissions into the air, which has an adverse effect on the environment.

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