Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Forest loss 'threatening humans' (Austrlia): About 15 million hectares of tropical rainforest are being lost across the world every year, posing a direct threat to human life, according to University of Adelaide research. Corey Bradshaw, from the university's school of earth and environmental sciences, says the world is losing the battle over tropical habitat loss.

He said tropical forests supported more than 60 per cent of all known species but those species were now being lost at a rate 10,000 times greater than would randomly occur without the impact of humans. "This is not just a tragedy for tropical biodiversity, this is a crisis that will directly affect human livelihoods," Professor Bradshaw said as the lead author in a study published online today by the Ecological Society of America.

"This is not just about losing tiny species found at the base of big trees in a rainforest few people will ever see, this is about a complete change in ecosystem services that directly benefit human life. The majority of the world's population live in the tropics and what is at stake is the survival of species that pollinate most of the world's food crops, purify our water systems, attenuate severe flood risk, sequester carbon and modify climate."…

The Amazon River passing through the rainforest, near Salinopolis in Brazil. Photo by Cesar Paes Barreto, Wikimedia Commons

No comments: