Destruction of the Rainforest

Forest ecosystems play an influential role on the environment. Forests have five main uses. They first provide products, such as wood used for construction of homes and furniture, to society. They remove carbon dioxide from the air. They protect water sources and wildlife. They prevent erosion and floods and lastly they provide recreation. However, the livelihoods of our forest ecosystems are being negatively affected by global warming and climate change.

There have been many recent developments in earth climate change. The causes have led to serious effects on our forest ecosystems. Forests contribute to the earth’s ability to maintain its climate because of photosynthesis. Forest ecosystems act as a natural defense against climate change by removing greenhouse gases and producing oxygen. This not only purifies the atmosphere but it controls increasing temperatures. Forests also have ecological benefits. They reduce rainfall force on soil and absorb water. This helps to prevent erosion by not allowing water to remove topsoil. Forests also filter water by collecting and storing it in underground aquifers. Forests increase humidity in the atmosphere by transpiration. This affects rainfall and temperature.

Forests contain more biodiversity than any other ecosystems in the world. Only a small percentage of existing species in forest ecosystems have been examined. A single tree in a rainforest can house thousands of species. These species of plant and animal life have developed over thousands of years and interact with one another. Forest ecosystems are beneficial to mankind as well. Plants native to forests have been used for medicines and pharmaceuticals. Paper and wood have originated in forest ecosystems. Local communities have survived on plants and animals from forest ecosystems. Other products such as dyes and spices have originated in forest ecosystems around the world. Sadly a thing such as deforestation negates such benefits.

Insect outbreaks are lethal to the forest ecosystem because they can defoliate trees, weaken them, and kill them. Increasing temperatures enable certain destructive species to develop faster after which they expand their range. They have the ability to displace important vegetation if the insects lack natural predators. Wildfires have increased thanks to warmer temperatures and drought conditions. Climate change increases the intensity and extent of wildfires because it causes warmer temperatures in the spring and summer coupled with water decreases. This dries out the forests and increases wildfire risk. Fires then increase climate change because they cause rapid release of carbon dioxide into the air thus fueling the cycle.