examine the causes and effects of biodiversity loss in tropical rainforests

        Biodiversity refers to the variety and quantity of all forms of life on Earth such as plants, animals and micro-organisms. It is estimated that there are up to 30 million different living species on Earth and more than 50 percent of these species live in the tropical rainforests. (rain-tree, N/A) Tropical rainforests play and important role in the world’s natural environment as well as human society, as they not only provide a safe home for numerous plants and animals and help stabilize the world’s climate and nature, but also also are a great source for medicines and foods. However numerous lives in tropical rainforests are at risk due to human deforestation. Deforestation in tropical rainforests as the major cause of the tragic loss of biodiversity, mainly happens due to globalization and cattle ranching, hydroelectric power, migration and logging. As a consequence, the ecosystem is disrupted, soil is eroded, carbon dioxide levels are increased and the nutrient cycle is affected.

        Globalization and cattle ranching is one of the major causes of loss of biodiversity due to deforestation in tropical rainforests. Meanwhile, industrial countries continue to develop and the demand for cattle is rapidly increasing. Over the past 25 years, rainforests have been cleared from an area the size of the entire India because the global demand for beef increases with the growth of human population. (kids.mongabay, N/A) Numerous trees in the rainforests are cut down in order to raise cattle in the flat forest land areas. In addition, large amounts of plants and grass in the forests are consumed. For example, the case is most severe in the Brazilian Amazon, where 38 percent of deforestation is due to cattle ranching, and the meat imports rose from 40 to 74 percent within just 10 years. In total, 214 thousand square miles, a sheer area larger than France is occupied by cattle ranches in the Brazilian Amazon. (rainforestconservation, N/A) Globalization plays a significant role in cattle ranching because huge international food chains such as McDonalds require mass production of beef in order to satisfy global consumers. With the continued globalization of the world economy, more and more US beef and dairy production will move to Mexico and Central America, undermining sustainable agricultural practices. In fact, 25% of the global beef produced in forest land areas end up in McDonalds.

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        The loss of biodiversity due to deforestation has brought a negative impact to the ecosystem of rainforests. Gradually, as rainforests lose biodiversity, many species that provide valuable and unique roles to the ecosystem are wiped out. For example, humans derive most of their essential nutrition through food  from animals and plants in rainforests. A loss of biodiversity means that humans are losing animals that could serve as biocontrol agents and plants that could potentially provide crop varieties. Furthermore, humans are losing potential sources for drugs that could cure existing or future diseases such as cancer. In many parts of ...

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An excellent overview of the causes and effects of biodiversity loss in tropical rainforests. 5 stars.