• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

The impact of human activity in tropical rainforests - examples from Madagascar.

Extracts from this document...


´╗┐The impact of human activity in tropical rainforests Impact of human activity: deforestation: Destruction of the world?s tropical rainforests is a major environmental issue. Deforestation is the deliberate clearance of woodland by cutting, burning or the application of a defoliant, such as that used during the 1960s by American troops to clear the jungle in Vietnam. In some developing countries and NICs, tropical rainforests, such as those in the Amazon basin in South America, and in Indonesia and Malaysia in the far east, are being destroyed at an alarming rate. There are claims that half of the world?s original rainforests have already been cleared, with an area the size of the UK being cleared every year. Climatic climax vegetation has been destroyed and this has resulted in both secondary succession and pagioclimax. The vegetation that eventually grows to replace the original rainforest tends to be smaller in height and less diverse, with a reduction in the overall biomass. Causes of deforestation: * Demand for hardwood, such as teak, for building and furniture is increasing and many developing countries rely on export earnings from timber to help pay their debts and finance major development projects * Deforestation also occurs to provide land for rubber plantations, cattle ranches for ...read more.


* Burning associated with forest clearance leads to local air pollution and contributes to climate change * Deforestation can have economic benefits in terms of income from farming, mining and exports of hardwood. However, the culture of indigenous people is destroyed and they may be forced to move from their land ECOSYSTEMS AND BIODIVERSITY: Deforestation in Madagascar: Madagascar, a large island located off the east coast of Africa, is one of the world?s most threatened hot spots for terrestrial biodiversity and is a priority for conservation action. Much of Madagascar?s flora and fauna is endemic: 98% of land mammals and 68% of plants exist nowhere else. * After 1896, when Madagascar became a French colony, the Malagasy forests were rapidly depleted. * Localised logging for fuel wood and clearing for agriculture were partly to blame; however this was mostly small scale. * Since the 1950s, rates of deforestation have increased rapidly, although this is not unique to Madagascar In 1985, it was estimated that only 34% of the original rainforest remained in Madagascar and that deforestation was most rapid in areas of low relief and high population density. ...read more.


direct sunlight may reach the forest floor and increased evaporation Effects on the biosphere include: loss of biomass, decrease in number and range of important habits, decrease in species and genetic diversity and rapid soil erosion, which leads to a loss of nutrients Solving the deforestation problem: non-protectionist approaches: The establishment of protectionist approaches to managing the problem may only be a partial solution. Other options include the following: * Debt swapping. This is scheme initiated in the USA whereby banks based in MEDCs agree to reduce or remove debts from and LEDC, by allowing their debts to be purchased at a fraction of their real value and then used to finance conservation projects * Promote changes in agriculture. Changes in the current methods of farming may help protect soils. Palm trees can be planted, which increase the fertility of the soil and act as an interception layer, thus reducing storm runoff. The replanting of vegetables and hardwoods will also help to improve soil condition. * Changes in harvesting methods. Selective logging, rather than clear felling, allows the forests to regenerate more naturally * Increase the number of small scale conservation projects. More locally based conservation schemes may be possible, given adequate funding from foreign organisations e.g. WWF ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Environmental Management section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Environmental Management essays

  1. Evaluate the impact of deforestation in Indonesia.

    As a result of their protests the Moi have been labelled 'security disturbers' in an effort to silence them. Illegal logging will vastly increase the risk of fire. Forest degradation and land clearance were the root causes of the 1998-9 fire disaster that blanketed nearly 20 million people across south-east in smoke for months, with disastrous consequences for local health.

  2. What are the effects of Deforestation?

    per year into the atmosphere and that land-use changes such as deforestation contribute roughly 1.6 GtC per year. Measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide levels (going on since 1957) suggest that of the approximate total amount of 7.1 GtC released per year by human activities, approximately 3.2 GtC remain in the atmosphere, resulting in an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide.

  1. Contemporary Issues and Physical Environments - Biodiversity.

    Water Management What is the issue? Proper water management strategy is based on three considerations: * Which irrigation system should I choose? * When should I irrigate? * How much water should I apply? In regions where rainfall is insufficient and uncertain, irrigation water is essential for profitable crop production.

  2. The Loss Of Tropical Rainforests: Solutions and ideas Case study: Brazil

    wished to bring about a 5% growth in Brazil's economy, annually, following with the statement that environmental obstacles and the Indians in the forests; his opponent, Geraldo Alckmin counteracted with the statement that he was being 'irresponsible' and attempting to 'privatize the Amazon.'

  1. Deforestation in Amazonia

    These raw materials can be sold to economically developed countries, however, growing these crops will be a slow process and the workers would not benefit straight away. On the other hand, the local tribes like the Kayapo would be against the deforestation of the rainforest completely as their way of

  2. Should the Brazilian government allow continuation of further development in the Amazon rainforest?

    People from abroad come to the rainforest to begin a new life and they usually make land for new settlement. Also, mining companies set up factories in the rainforest to look for minerals and ores. Although Brazil is making money through trade, it is exploiting and destroying the Amazon rainforest.

  1. I am going to describe the increasing problem of the destruction of the Amazonian ...

    This will impact our lives as well; many areas of the British Isles will become submerged by sea. No country, person or animal will escape the effects of human disregard for the environment around us. Mining is another industry destroying the Rainforest.

  2. The characteristics of the vegetation of tropical biomes are more the outcome of continued ...

    Savanna soils are closely linked with climate and tend to reflect the local seasonal rainfall pattern. Soils in the savanna are commonly leached, ferralitic soils. These are similar to soils of the rainforest, but not as intensely weathered. Soil development shows a marked seasonal pattern.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work