Cerrado Conservation is Essential to Protect the Amazon Rainforest
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Despite widespread deforestation the forests of Amazonia still cover more than 5 million km2 and may host up to a quarter of the world’s terrestrial species (Dirzo and Raven 2003)—many of which are still undocumented. Conservation of these forests is important, not just for the biodiversity they contain, but also for the vital ecosystem services they provide. Historically, the greatest threat to Amazonia has been conversion to agriculture, initially through small-scale farming and, more recently, also through well-capitalized organizations producing agricultural and forestry products for global markets (Rudel et al. 2009). The attention of scientists and conservationists has recently shifted toward another factor that could radically alter the distribution, ecology, and value of the forest—climate change.
Climatologists predict that changes in atmospheric composition in the twenty-first century will cause Amazonia to experience an increase in temperatures of around 3°C and...
KeywordsAmazon Rainforest Seasonal Forest Climate Space Climate Threshold Lowland Tropical Rainforest
This research was supported by Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and CNPq. Thanks to Dr Richard Ladle and Dr Mike Coe for insightful comments.
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