The largest rainforest on earth is the Amazon rainforest which covers an area of 7 million km and spans nine countries in South America. Brazil comprises nearly 60% of the Amazon rainforest. The forest houses a large number of species and rich biodiversity.
Amazon rainforest – Biodiversity
- The country stretches over nine countries – Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Guyana, Surinam, and French Guyana. Amazon forest lies in the tropical region and hence precipitation is high throughout the year. The forest is also known as the lungs of the planet because of the large number of trees purifying air by absorbing carbon dioxide. The Amazon environment is enormously large as the Indian biome.
- The Amazon River which runs over the forest is the lifeline of the biome. It comprises nearly 1/10th of the known species of the earth. Over 300 ethnic tribes live in the forest. No tropical rainforests in the world are as large as the Amazon rainforest. The dense forest canopy does not allow sunlight to reach the forest surface. Also, Asia, Africa, South America, Central America, and several Pacific Islands have got forests as well. The soil is mostly black soil which has a very high humus content.
- Mineral resources like copper and iron ore are found here. The Amazon forest is the main climatic factor of the regional climate. It plays an important role in the water cycle and energy cycle influencing the climate of the globe and ocean current circulation.
- The rainforest has an essential role in regulating carbon and oxygen cycles. The forest is the highest terrestrial carbon sink on the earth.
- The forest has endemic species such as the Amazon River dolphin, Giant otter, Grey woolly monkey, Pygmy marmoset, Green anaconda, etc.
- The Flora and fauna of the forest have not been fully identified. Less than 2% of the flowering plants have been studied for medicinal uses. Deforestation has made the uses of the rainforest unexplored.
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- The forest is experiencing deforestation at the highest rate. It now releases more carbon dioxide than its absorption rate.
- Cattle ranching and beef consumption are one of the main causes of deforestation. Beef is largely exported by Brazil.
- The increase in small-scale agriculture has necessitated the slash and burn technique increasing deforestation. Amazon forest does not tolerate fire and it can exacerbate fire flames. Manmade wildfire is caused because of burning waste and campfires. Lightning and thunderstorms are also the causes of forest fires. Mining operations also increase the threat to forests.
- If the process is not addressed, it paves way for the savannah in place of the Amazon rainforest. The tipping point will be reached in just a few years. The global temperature will rise paving way for barren scrubland. It will become impossible to control the greenhouse effect and global warming.
Conclusion of Amazon Biodiversity
The United nation and other countries have committed to stop deforestation and reverse the actions to save the forest. Ensuring sustainable forest management, emission reduction, and restoring forest carbon are the ways to revert rainforest.