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Scientific Report - Damage, Consequences Of Amazon Deforestation Worse Than Thought

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hatrack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-09-07 01:05 PM
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Scientific Report - Damage, Consequences Of Amazon Deforestation Worse Than Thought
Human disturbance of the Amazon rainforest is more extensive than previously thought say a team of scientists writing in the current edition of the journal Frontiers in Ecology. Reviewing recent research on the Amazon ecosystem, they note that human activities are affecting the health of the forest and impacting the ecological goods and services the Amazon provides mankind.

"Emerging research indicates that land use in the Amazon goes far beyond clearing large areas of forest; selective logging and other canopy damage is much more pervasive than once believed," the authors write. "Deforestation causes collateral damage to the surrounding forests through enhanced drying of the forest floor, increased frequency of fires, and lowered productivity. The loss of healthy forests can degrade key ecosystem services, such as carbon storage in biomass and soils, the regulation of water balance and river flow, the modulation of regional climate patterns, and the amelioration of infectious diseases."

EDIT

Until recently the nature of land-use change in the Amazon was poorly understood, but new methods of remote monitoring are providing insight into how humans are altering the Amazon ecosystem. For example, it has long been believed that agricultural clearing and cattle pasture have the greatest impact on Amazonian forests, but studies now indicate that logging is widespread and pervasive outside cleared areas. Research by Daniel Nepstad and colleagues (1999) and Greg Asner and colleagues (2005) found that the area logged was roughly equal to the amount of area deforested each year -- a critical finding since logged forest retains lower levels of biological diversity due to changes in forest structure. Further, Asner's research shed light into the link between deforestation and logging in the Amazon:

"Even more unexpected was the finding that only 16% of the logged area turned into deforested (clear-cut) land the following year, and only 32% of the logged forests were consumed by clear-cut deforestation within 4 years (Asner et al. 2006)," write the researchers. "These results completely change our view of logging as a form of land use in the Amazon: first, selective logging often matches, and can even exceed, deforestation each year; second, for the most part, logging does not immediately precede deforestation it is a distinct form of forest disturbance in and of itself. In short, the footprint of human activity on the Amazon landscape is roughly double that of previous estimates of deforestation alone (Asner et al. 2005)."

EDIT

http://news.mongabay.com/2007/0208-amazon1.html
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lvx35 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-09-07 01:14 PM
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1. "impacting the ecological goods and services"
good terms....That's really at stake here, and conservatives should see it too: South american farming is burning a global asset for pennies on the dollar to the local landowners.
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Richard D Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-09-07 01:18 PM
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2. While it's hard to understand or believe
even the loss of one old growth tree in a mature jungle can have very long-term repercussions and impact on the rest of the jungle for a long ways around it. This destruction of the jungle is something that our decedents will hate us for.
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indepat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-09-07 01:25 PM
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3. No shit!
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-09-07 01:54 PM
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4. Gosh, no one could have predicted this.
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Dead_Parrot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Feb-09-07 04:27 PM
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5. Colour me stunned... nt
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