Destruction of Rain Forest

Topics: Tropical rainforest, Rainforest, Forest Pages: 3 (1216 words) Published: May 19, 2002
"In every sense, a standing rain forest supplies more economic wealth than if it were cleared … yet deforestation continues at an alarming rate." (Tropical Rain Forest Coalition, 1996). Rain Forests have played a significant role in shaping modern biology. The destruction of the rain forests will determine the fate of all species humans plants and animals. Many people do not understand the long- term consequences of losing the earth's rain forests. They have provided all living beings with many natural resources and medicines. Their complete destruction will affect all living conditions due to the influence they have on the climate around the world. Traditionally though, there are three major causes of the destruction to the rain forests: logging, farming and ranching.

For years rain forests have provided countries around the world with valuable resources, such as plants for medicine, energy, and minerals. First of all, in America, one fourth of all drugs prescribed have originated from rain forests. SP-303 is a compound extracted from a plant found in South America. Two products have been derived from this compound: Provir and Virend. Provir helps treat respiratory infections in children, while Virend is a topical ointment used to treat the herpes simplex virus. Another product from medicinal plants includes elements that treat addictive painkillers. (Refer to appendix 1) Secondly, in Brazil alone, the rain forest contains 45% of Brazil's hydroelectric power ("In the Forest"). Thirdly, the soils of the tropical rain forest are typically nutrient poor; all of the nutrients are held in the living organisms. The warm, moist conditions in the forest are ideal for the decomposers breaking down the remains of dead organisms. This quick decay returns the carbon and oxygen in the decomposing material to the air, and returns nitrogen, phosphorous, calcium, and other minerals to the soil. (Refer to appendix 2) In the soil, a thick mat of plant...
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