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Deforestation And Biodiversity

At the present time, most of Earth's deforestation involves the loss of tropical forests, which are extremely rich in species. Many of the species known to occur in tropical forests have local (or endemic) distributions, so they are vulnerable to extinction if their habitat is lost. In addition, tropical forests are thought to contain millions of additional species of plants, animals, and microorganisms as yet undiscovered by scientists.

Tropical deforestation is mostly caused by various sorts of conversions, especially to subsistence agriculture, and to market agriculture for the production of export commodities. Tropical deforestation is also caused by unsustainable logging and fuelwood harvesting. Less important causes of tropical deforestation include hydroelectric developments that flood large reservoirs and the production of charcoal as an industrial fuel. Because these extensive conversions cause the extinction of innumerable species, tropical deforestation is the major cause of the global biodiversity crisis.

Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Cyanohydrins to Departments of philosophy:Deforestation - Historical Deforestation, Deforestation Today, Loss Of A Renewable Resource, Deforestation And Biodiversity, Deforestation And The Greenhouse Effect