Author: No authors were given: Made by the Rainforest Conservation Fund website
Chapter 5: Biomes
Video Clip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQztfNel0Ao
Content of the Article: http://www.rainforestconservation.org/rainforest-primer/rainforest-primer-table-of-contents/g-rainforest-ecology/13-rainforest-stability-and-disturbance/
What Was The Article About?
Humans have drained, filled, polluted, or otherwise degraded rain forests over the past few hundred years and the human disturbances have had long-term consequences in the (tropical and temperate) rain forests biomes. Rain forests are naturally disturbed through fire, flooding, storms winds, alterations in rainfall, and other nature-made disturbances, but are also being damaged by humans through logging and clearing forest land for agriculture. The opening of the canopy increases the probability of fires from occurring and destroys thousands of animal habitats. As a result of the deforestation of rainforests, animal populations are removed from their natural biomes and are sometimes misplaced in different biomes, disturbing populations of the native species as well as decreasing the population of the animals living in the rain forests. Humans not only directly damage rain forests but the areas adjacent to where burning is taking place to clear land for agriculture is also damaged. The repetitive burning may cause the area to be completely treeless and be irreversibly reduced to grasslands or scrubs.
The problem in the article is the disturbance of the rain forest ecosystems by deforestation caused by humans, the players, for human consumption. The environment and the animals living in the rain forests are the ones being affected in a negative way because as forests are being cut down, it is hard for organisms to inhabit the area and for the forests to regrow or maintain stability, which makes it hard for animals and plant species to survive. The solutions to this problem are to either limit deforestation (in order to allow the forests to regrow and recuperate the lost nutrients and vegetation) or to completely stop deforestation. The way I feel towards the article is that it raised awareness of the amount of deforestation taking place in the world and it made me realize that humans do not really need to cut down trees because paper (and other materials made out of trees) is not necessary for our survival. This article relates to AP Environmental Science because in chapter 5, the importance of limiting human disturbances in biomes for the survival of a variety of plants and animals were discussed, which relates back to the importance of the trees in a rain forest for species to survive (it is all a system that needs every component to work as discussed in chapter 5). Table 5.1 in chapter 5 demonstrated how temperate rain forests are being human dominated by 46.1% and tropical rain forests are being human dominated by 24.9%, which is a growing problem that is endangering the rain forest biomes all over the world (in places in which they are found, like Brazil)! I learned that deforestation devastates ecosystems and humans do not really need to be cutting down trees to survive; instead, we should leave the natural world alone (because other animals and plants DO need trees for survival) and we should only take what we need.
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