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The Importance of Forests & the Perils of Deforestation
Image showing soil erosion due to deforestation.  This image links to a more detailed image.The most dangerous form of deforestation is the destruction of the rain forests, especially the tropical rain forests clustered around the equator. These are the most important sources of biological diversity on earth and the most vulnerable ecosystems now suffering the effects of our determined onslaught. Indeed, as many as half of all the living species on earth--some experts actually claim more than 90 percent of all living species--find their homes in tropical rain forests, and the irretrievable loss of the living species dying along with them, represent the single most serious damage to nature now occurring. While some of the other injuries we are inflicting on the global ecological system may heal over the course of hundreds or thousands of years, the wholesale annihilation of so many living species in such a breathless moment of geological time represents a deadly wound to the integrity of the earth's painstakingly intricate web of life, a wound so nearly permanent that scientists estimate that recuperation would take 100 million years. (Gore, 1993). Left: Soil erosion is an inevitable result of deforestation. Photo: PhotoDisc Inc.

[ Slash & Burn Agriculture ] [ From the Seat of the Bulldozer ] [ Regrowth in a Tropical Rainforest ]
[ Data Collection in the Amazon ] [ Colonization of the Rainforest ] [ Loving the Rainforest to Death ]
[ Frogs in the Rainforest ] [ Tropical Deforestation & Habitat Destruction ]
[ The Importance of Forests & the Perils of Deforestation ] [ Hamburgers in the Rainforest ]
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Last updated November 10, 2004

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