AMAZON

Tropical Rain Forest
Meet Jamaal Meet Toucan’s Sam and Hedi

By Bartholomew Ward Gallagher

Background Information.
The amazon rainforest is very important because it is one of the world’s greatest natural resources. Its vegetation continuously recycles carbon dioxide into oxygen, it has about 20% of earth’s oxygen, hence being called the “lungs of our Planet.” The Amazon Rain Forest is located in Northern south America, and is mostly in Brazil. Although it does go through the five other countries, six including Brazil. The Amazon Rain Forest is home to many different plants thus making it a very diverse place. There may be 40 to 100 different species in 2.5 acres of a tropical rain forest.

Plant Life
Not counting the four layers(see below). The shrubs and saplings layer receives about 3% of the suns light that goes through the other 4 layers. These trees are able to grow because they are capable of a sudden and powerful growth when there is just a little light. Beneath the lower canopy the air is often humid. The trees give off water through there stomata. The tree’s transpiration, can take credit for half of the precipitation in the rain forest.

Animal Life
In a four square mile patch of the Amazon rainforest contains around 1,500 flowering plants, 750 species of trees, 400 species of birds and 150 species of butterflies. The plants and animals in the rainforest are used as resources to make medicines to cure cancer. The natural habitats of these animals are getting killed off every day. The logging of trees does not only effect the trees. It effects the animals that once inhabited that tree.

Reforestation
The Curupira Reforestation Project, invested 42 million united states dollars in to the installation of microchips (2.1 million of them) which would stimulate the growth of the trees from outer space. Th trees would grow by satellite imaging. Its projected that in 20 years the project will produce 4.2 million cubic meter of timber.

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Threats To The Amazon Rain Forest
The main threat to the Amazon Rain Forest is that ranchers are illegally logging the trees. They are also illegally clearing out trees in order to create pastures and roads. The deforestation of the Amazon Rain Forest is destroying a enormous amount of biological diversity waiting to be found. Also destroying many valuable plants and animals that are resources that are used to make medicines that treat cancer. The Tans-Amazonian was unsuccessful in meeting their economic and social goals of preserving the rain forest. The heights amount of sq. km of deforestation at almost 30000 began in 1995. Then decreased to less then 15000 sq. km. The went back up to 25000 in 2003-2005. Lately, it has been the lowest yet, at a little over 5000. (see graph to right)

Future Threats
According to the RAN (Rainforest Action Network) more than an acre and a half is lost every second of every day. If this rate of deforestation continues, half of the remaining rain forests will be gone by the year 2025. Then, there will be no rain forest remaining by 2060. This is a concern because the rain forest’s are the “Lungs of our Planet” (like said earlier), and without lungs we will die. Logging is a present and future threat because it can get worse. Logging is a principal cause in the deforestation of the Amazon rain forest. In 2002, 10,000 square miles in the Amazon were deforested due to logging. Another problem, would be the Grazing of cattle and live stock. The demand in the western world is for cheap meat increases, more and more rainforests are destroyed to provide grazing land for animals. Cattle ranching is considered to be the

worst of all alternatives for the Amazon rain forest, on the basis of its high potential for soil degradation. The soil is being effected by the cattle and effects the growth of plants and shrubs.

People Trying To Stop Danger
Some people taking action have been many activist groups, like Greenpeace. Greenpeace has dedicated their time and effort to preserve the Amazon Rainforest. Greenpeace, with other national campaigning organizations, have tried to start a proposal to end the deforestation completely by the year 2015. Bibliography.
http://wikis.lib.ncsu.edu/index.php/ Amazon_Rainforest:_Outlook_for_the_Future http://www.rain-tree.com/facts.htm http://www.nature.org/rainforests/explore/threats.html http://www.nature.org/rainforests/explore/facts.html Photos from flicker.

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