The Causes and Effects of Deforestation in Tropical Rainforests

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The Causes and Effects of Deforestation in Tropical Rainforests

Tropical rainforests are the most alive places on earth. Covering less

than 12% of the land's surface, the rainforests are home to more than

half of all living species (Lewis, 4). 90% of all non-primates reside

in tropical rainforests. Two-thirds of known plants, 40% birds of

prey, and 80% of all insects are found only in tropical rainforests.

Of the 2.5 to 5 million animals species thought to exist, only about

one-half have been identified to date. The vast majority of

rainforests are found in Brazil (Amazon), South Asia, Africa, and

Central America. (WRM, 16).

The two main types of rainforest are equatorial rainforests and

tropical rainforests. Equatorial rainforests make up about two-thirds

of all rainforests, and is found bordering the equator in Brazil,

Zaire, and Southeast Asia. The temperature and the rainfall in

equatorial rainforests are the same year-round. Tropical rainforests,

on the other hand, are found north and south of the equatorial

rainforests, and they have definite wet and dry seasons. (…).

Rainforests are named so because of the rain they create within

themselves. From morning to noon, as the sun heats the forests, the

trees transpire hundreds of liters of water. This water forms large

cumulonimbus clouds which start raining by 2 or 3 o'clock in the

afternoon. Most of the rainfall stays on leaves of the tallest trees,

in the canopy. The next day, this water evaporates to fall again as

rain. (…).

Tropical rainforest vegetation grows in layers. The topmost layer of

the rainforests consist of eme...

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