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Global tropical forests threatened by 2100
Date:8/5/2010

America, climate change could alter about two-thirds of the humid tropical forests biodiversitythe variety and abundance of plants and animals in an ecosystem. Combining that scenario with current patterns of land-use change, and the Amazon Basin alone could see changes in biodiversity over 80% of the region.

Most of the changes in the Congo area likely to come from selective logging and climate change, which could negatively affect between 35% and 74% of that region. At the continental scale, about 70% of Africa's tropical forest biodiversity would likely be affected if current practices are not curtailed.

In Asia and the central and southern Pacific islands, deforestation and logging are the primary drivers of ecosystem changes. Model projections suggest that climate change might play a lesser role there than in Latin America or Africa. That said, the research showed that between 60% and 77% of the area is susceptible to biodiversity losses via massive ongoing land-use changes in the region.

"This study is the strongest evidence yet that the world's natural ecosystems will undergo profound changesincluding severe alterations in their species compositionthrough the combined influence of climate change and land use," remarked Daniel Nepstad, senior scientist at the Woods Hole Research Center. "Conservation of the world's biota, as we know it, will depend upon rapid, steep declines in greenhouse gas emissions."


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Contact: Greg Asner
gpa@carnegiescience.edu
650-380-2828
Carnegie Institution
Source:Eurekalert  

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