geo essay 1

Submitted By oblivionsun
Words: 1008
Pages: 5

The Three Parallel Rivers is located in the Northwestern part of Yunnan Province in China and considered as a part of Tibetan Plateau edge. Commonly known as Shangri­la to the world. the lost paradise in the world, the Three Parallel Rivers protected area is famous for its splendid biodiversity and unique creature species, which has great influence on world’s gardening history. However, recently this area has witnessed the expansion of dam construction and the natural balance is being broken up. This paper would briefly analyse the contributing factor to the biodiversity of the region in geographical method and then illustrate the potential treats which hydroelectric projects brings to this biodiversity. As one of the world natural heritage on UNESCO list, one outstanding value of the Three Parallel Rivers area is the spectacular biodiversity in these adjacent valleys. ‘Over 18,000 plant species grow here of which 3,000 are found nowhere else’ and it encompasses vast wild animal habitats. Unlike other temperate zone which usually covered evergreen temperate forest, a variety of vegetation types from different temperature zones can be discovered in this area, including tropical plants communities and
Alpine vegetation.It is the same with the animals. Black giant squirrels (tropical), bear macaques
(tropical), snub­nosed monkeys (temperate) and are typical examples. The biodiversity of the Three
Parallel Rivers seems like a natural masterpiece, however, for a geographical perspective it could be analyzed through the interaction of geological, topographical and climatic factors.

Located on the southeastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau, the unique landforms of the Three Parallel
Rivers is shaped by orogenic process of mountain building over the last 30 million years. ‘The Indian subcontinent has been pushing northwards into Eurasia. To the east, the rocks have buckled into a series of steep north­south ridges’. This geological process produces the huge relative altitude from the top to the bottom. In addition, with three great rivers running through the valleys in considerable high flow velocity, the constant water erosion process wears away and breaks down rocks in the riverbed, eventually downward deepening the intrinsic steep gorges. Consequently, the combined effect of mountain formation and river erosion process creates the extremely deep parallel valleys ranging from 1,000 meter below to over 6,000 meter glaciated peaks. The huge temperature difference intrinsically carried by this topography provides the base for diverse creatures from an array of temperature zones other than tropical area.
Besides, the high mountains serve as a natural barrier to prevent the rare wild species from being disturbed and invaded by non­native creatures. However, the most amazing biodiversity characteristic of the Three Parallel Rivers is the appearance of tropical organisms, which could be attributed by climatic factors. This area is mostly under of influence of
Indian Ocean hot and humid monsoon. ‘The giant river valleys act like immense funnels that the moist warm air is driven right up to the north of Yunnan’. The monsoon brings constant plenty precipitation and relatively high temperature, building the suitable climatic condition for tropical plant communities as well as abundant food for jungle animals. Moreover, the plenty rainfalls increase the number of mountain streams and the flow volume of the major rivers, which is beneficial for aquatic organisms to thrive. The interaction of three factors above gives birth to the botanical and animal