Tropical Rainforests : Global Ecosystem And Human Existence Essay

Tropical Rainforests : Global Ecosystem And Human Existence Essay

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Tropical rainforest covers only a relatively small proportion of our planet, and yet it is considered to be one of the most significant ecosystems, and its loss through deforestation and burning is considered to be of global importance. Explain why.
Tropical rainforests are highly important to the global ecosystem and human existence in the world. Occupying only 6% of the earth’s land areas, tropical rainforests sustain 10-50 million species, which is over half of the world’s biodiversity, far higher than biodiversity in sub-tropical, temperate, and boreal ecosystems (IUCN, 2006). They occur between the latitudes 23.5° N and 23.5° S of the equator (Mongabay, 2014). The largest tropical rainforest area is located in America continent where about half the global total rainforest, followed by South East Asia, with about a third, and Africa with about a fifth (Morley, 2000). Tropical rainforests are evergreen ecosystems which occur in areas typically receiving more than 2,000 mm annual rainfall, with not more than four consecutive months have less than 100 mm rainfall in two years. The annual mean temperature in tropical rainforests is 250C with the coldest mean monthly temperature is not falling below 180C (Morley, 2000). Tropical rainforests play a fundamental role in regulating global weather and regular rainfall while buffering against floods, droughts, and erosion. They also store vast quantities of carbon while at the same time also producing a significant amount of the world 's oxygen (Mongabay, 2014).
Tropical rainforests are the natural pool of genetic diversity with rich sources of medicinal plants, foods, and other useful forest products. Genetic diversity is crucial for the resilience of all earth’s inhabita...

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...e year round sunlight and high rainfall rate that allows a high rate of photosynthesis of the vegetation. However, the rate of primary productivity of a tree would decrease after at some point in which the trees are growing older and become less productive to grow but to maintain its development. The young forest vegetation are likely to act as a carbon sink, since they absorb high amount of CO2 from the air for growing, thus they are accumulating carbon in their mass. However, they are also producing huge amounts of CO2 through respiration. As the vegetation is getting older, they are growing at a lower rate thus they absorb less amount of CO2 but continue to pollute the air with CO2 through respiration. When the vegetation dies, they will be decomposed naturally and release carbon to the atmosphere, thus they become the carbon source rather than carbon sink.

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