30720
Half of Amazon Tree Species Endangered
People, Environment

Half of Amazon Tree Species Endangered

About half of the 15,000 tree species in the Amazon — the world’s most diverse forest — are threatened by deforestation, an international study said on Friday.
The report lays bare the destruction of a vibrant and sprawling ecosystem often referred to as the lungs of the earth because trees absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen.
“At least 36% and up to 57% of all Amazonian tree species are likely to qualify as globally threatened,” said the study in the journal Science Advances, which used criteria from the respected International Union for Conservation of Nature, AFP reported.
Under a business-as-usual scenario, about 40% of the original Amazon forest would be destroyed by 2050, the researchers found.
But with stricter conservation measures, they said, that number could be halved.
The good news is that significant populations of endangered trees survive in protected areas of the Amazon, the researchers said.
Still, they added, only constant vigilance over valuable trees like the Brazil nut – 63% of which could otherwise be lost by 2050 – will help preserve the Amazon’s status as a major carbon sink, a potent natural asset in helping slow global climate change.
The cacao tree could decline by 50% within 35 years under a business-as-usual scenario, and the acai palm could decline 72%, the study found.
Already, the prized mahogany tree is considered commercially extinct, no longer a part of the Amazon’s forest economy.
The report was based on forest surveys across the Amazon as well as maps of current and projected deforestation. Researchers from 21 countries contributed.
“It’s a battle we’re going to see play out in our lifetimes,” said lead author Hans ter Steege of Naturalis Biodiversity Center in the Netherlands.
“Either we stand up and protect these critical parks and indigenous reserves, or deforestation will erode them until we see large-scale extinctions.”
The largest part of the Amazon is in Brazil, which last year cut carbon emissions slightly through reduced deforestation, said a separate report by the NGO Climate Observatory.
Still, Brazil’s emissions were at the second-highest level in six years.
In Colombia, meanwhile, the government Friday reported that deforestation is also on the rise — up 16 percent in 2014 compared to the previous year — particularly in the Amazon region.
The main causes are illegal mining, the felling of trees for farmland or the growing of coca leaves and fires due to drought, said the Institute of Hydrology, Meteorology and Environmental Studies.
About 45 percent of the 2014 deforestation took place in Colombia’s Amazon region, the institute said.

Short URL : http://goo.gl/Ej7QJ2
  1. http://goo.gl/UceJj3
  • http://goo.gl/0bkW3q
  • http://goo.gl/5PyqYL
  • http://goo.gl/AZVDDs
  • http://goo.gl/6yfSQs

You can also read ...

Repurposed vans and motorhomes have popped up on the fringes of the cobblestoned street, serving passersby drinks and food.
Once upon a time Si-e Tir Street in Tehran’s District 12 was...
More than one in 10 jobs were also found to be in tourism in Highland, South Ayrshire and Orkney.
Scottish tourism is worth more than £11 billion ($14.1 billion...
Historical Tehran House Razed
A historical house near Tehran's Hassanabad Square has been...
there are 559,243 classrooms in Iran of which 1,700 are unsafe.
In the second phase of a plan to protect schools from hazards...
High Volume of Russian Visas for Iranians
The number of visas issued to Iranians by the Russian Embassy...
Mysterious Disease Kills 60 in Nigeria
At least 62 people are confirmed dead by a yet-to-be-diagnosed...
First Women Award in Science
Winners of the first round of Women Awards in Science (WAS) in...
New System for Hospital Appointment
The Social Security Organization has launched a new booking...

Trending

Googleplus