Threats to the Tropical Rainforest - Essay Example

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Name: Course: College: Tutor: Date: Contents Contents 1 Introduction 2 Background Information 2 Threats to Tropical Forests 4 Discriminatory Plant Extraction 4 Selective Animal Removal 5 Biological Invasions 5 Fragmentation 5 Climate Change 6 Potential Threat Mitigation Measures 6 Conclusion 7 Threats to the Tropical Rainforest Introduction The threat posed by diverse aspects to tropical forests has often been measured on the basis of the extent of deforestation and the area remaining under plant cover…
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Threats to the Tropical Rainforest
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Download file to see previous pages The potential impact of these threats on biodiversity of tropical forest is difficult to assess, due to the fact that the threats could be interlinked and each precipitates either direct or indirect effects. Regardless of the uncertainties associated with threat evaluation and impact assessment, the fact that these forests are subject to radical ecological changes, hence degradation is indubitable. For these reasons, it is imperative for conservationists and the global populations, to monitor, comprehend, and prevent the negative impact of these threats at all costs. Background Information Most studies in Earth systems reveal the fact that Tropical rainforests represent one of the World’s oldest and uninterrupted ecosystems. For instance, fossil records indicate that South-east Asia’s humid forests have been in existence for between 70 and 100 million years, without much alteration to their original form. Tropical rainforests make up some of the world’s haven for species, since they could have more than 1000 different species within an area of one square kilometer (km2). This is a very large proportion of both floral and faunal species, in comparison to that found in temperate forests, which harbor a meager 100 species within a similar spatial area. Tropical rainforests cover an estimated 2% area of Earth’s surface, which amounts to approximately 2000 million hectares (Ha). These forests get their name “Tropical” from their location within the tropics, that is, the Tropic of Capricorn about 23 degrees south and the Tropic of Cancer about 23 degrees north of the Equator (Primack and Corlett 15). Given the strategic location of Tropical rainforests within the tropics, they span across most of the world’s continents, including Africa, Asia, Northern Australia, and South America. These forests are also found in many of the tropical islands within these areas (Wright 554-555). The Amazon Rainforest is the largest of the Tropical rainforests in the world. Found in South America, the Amazon forest covers eight nations including Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Guyana, Peru, Venezuela, Suriname and Ecuador. This huge forest covers a 2 million square miles area. Studies have shown that Tropical rainforests play a significant role in regulating local, as well as, global climatic conditions, in addition to regulating the crucial carbon cycle. The forests regulate the carbon cycle by absorbing and storing large amounts of carbon, while releasing much needed oxygen to the environment. This happens when the vast number of plants takes up carbon during photosynthesis, thus incorporating it into stored biomass. Even though there is no agreement as to whether preserved rainforests constitute the principal sink or source of carbon, negative influences of excessive deforestation are clearly known. Additionally, the role of deforestation in negating the carbon cycle is indubitable (Fearnside 681). Over the last several years, discussions regarding the links between forests’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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