4E – Tropical forest ecosystem

Supporting article E: An article on the dangers and causes of ecosystem destruction of tropical forests.


Tropical forest ecosystems under great threat

Tropical forests are areas of the richest biodiversity on our planet, and they hold around half of all the plants and animal species on Earth. There are however many negative effects that threaten tropical forests such as climate change and deforestation. The latest scientific report from Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology states that by 2100 only 18% to 45% of the plants and animals making up ecosystems in tropical forests may remain as we know them today. The others will likely perish into history books.

This research combined fresh deforestation and selective logging data with climate-change projections, and this is the first study to involve all these effects for tropical forest ecosystems.

This study could be of great help to conservationists because by pinpointing main negative impact they would be able to find the most effective solutions against it.

Greg Asner at the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology explained this by saying “For those areas of the globe projected to suffer most from climate change, land managers could focus their efforts on reducing the pressure from deforestation, thereby helping species adjust to climate change, or enhancing their ability to move in time to keep pace with it. On the flip side, regions of the world where deforestation is projected to have fewer effects from climate change could be targeted for restoration.”

Climate change impact is becoming increasingly stronger, and many plant and animal species will have to adapt to survive. Failure to adapt will mean extinction, and we should at least try to create adequate conditions that would give these species decent chance to adapt and survive.

If we continue our current industrial policy that involves excessive greenhouse gas emissions conservationists will be very limited in their efforts to protect many plant and animal species from going extinct. The other big threat to tropical ecosystems is deforestation that is taking heavy toll in many areas around the globe (Africa, Indonesia, Amazon rainforest).

Tropical forest ecosystems will be mostly affected by climate change and deforestation because they are a home to so many plants and animals. The huge biodiversity loss is something that we must avoid at any price, and failure to do so could only result in one gigantic environmental disaster.