Thursday, December 2, 2010

Causes of Reduced Biodiversity

The foremost reasons behind reduced biodiversity now are changes in land use, alternation of climate, pollution, introduction of exotic species, human activity etc.  For rainforests, the primary factor is land conversion.  Habitat destruction is the primary cause of loss of rainforest biodiversity and is directly related to human population growth.  Deforestation is primarily responsible for the destruction of natural habitat.  Logging of rainforest leads to forest fragmentation.  Forests are being reduced to smaller size, creating many consequences, some of which are even unanticipated. For example, most animal species are not so tolerant to these changes.  Animals, particularly large ones, cannot maintain themselves in small fragmented forests.  Additionally, their migrations may be interrupted by fragmentation.  Warming is also another major concern in tropical rainforests as it affects evapotranspiration as well as soil fertility.  Increased moisture due to warming also increases infectious diseases.  Many species of frogs and lizards have declined or disappeared, perhaps because of the increase in parasites occasioned by higher temperatures.  Rainforests are losing biodiversity, not only because of the disappearance of natural habitat, but also because essential ecological processes are being interrupted by forest fragmentation caused by deforestation.


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