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Studies show that logging and the impact of logging on Amazon’s biodiversity

Melbourne, Florida. –NS New research, Co-authored by two researchers at Florida Institute of Technology, this month NatureProvides the first quantitative assessment of how environmental policies on deforestation, in addition to forest fires and droughts, have affected the diversity of Amazon’s flora and fauna.

Researchers (23 people involved in this treatise) used records of more than 14,500 plant and vertebrate species to create a biodiversity map of the Amazon region. By mapping historical and current observations of forest fires and deforestation over the last two decades, the team was able to quantify the cumulative impact on species in the region.

They describe that 40,000-73,400 square miles of Amazon rainforest have been affected by fire since 2001, and 95% of all Amazon species are endangered in the region. We found it affecting 85% of the species. Forest management policies enacted in Brazil in the mid-2000s slowed the rate of habitat destruction, but the relaxed enforcement of those policies in line with the 2019 peaceful transition seems to have begun to reverse the trend. , The author writes. As fires affect 1,640-4,000 square miles of forest, 2019 will be one of the most extreme biodiversity years since 2009, when regulations limiting deforestation came into force. It stands out.

“Virtually all Amazon fires are caused by humans,” the co-author said. Mark bush, Professor of Florida Institute of Technology. “Since these forests have no history of fire evolution, even small fires kill most trees. The effects of the fire cascade from plants to monkeys and burnt forests are native wildlife. Cannot be supported. “

Brian Enquist, a senior research author and professor at the University of Arizona’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, said the study “how directly and significantly impacts the pace at which policies have affected biodiversity across the Amazon. It shows whether it caused. ” He added that the findings are particularly important in light of the fact that Amazon did not take a break at any given time due to these increasing effects.

“Even if there are policies in place that can be thought of as a brake that slows down deforestation, it’s just like a car that keeps moving forward at a slower rate,” said the Enquist. “But in 2019, my foot was released from the brakes and seemed to accelerate again.”

“Although remote sensing-based assessments of burnt and deforested areas have been conducted before, there is no detailed record of how they affect species diversity in the area,” he said. Xiao Feng, the lead author of the study, said. He did most of his work while he was a postdoctoral fellow in Arizona and is now an assistant professor at Florida State University. “This is a huge collection of data, an unprecedented informatics effort related to biodiversity data, and we were able to visualize these interconnects.”

Co-author Efthymios NikolopoulosAn assistant professor at the Florida Institute of Technology said the study was important for reasons other than technical discoveries.

“This study provides a very strong message about the importance of policymaking in biodiversity conservation,” he said. “Climate conditions leading to droughts and fires are expected to become more frequent in the future due to climate change, so developing policies that effectively mitigate the risk of climate hazards must be a top priority.”

The Amazon Basin is primarily known for its dense rainforests and supports about 40 percent of the world’s remaining rainforests. It is globally important as a provider of ecosystem services such as the removal and storage of carbon from the atmosphere and plays an important role in regulating the Earth’s climate. The area is also a huge reservoir of planetary biodiversity, providing habitat for one-tenth of the planet’s known species. It is estimated that 1,000 species of trees can live in areas less than 0.5 square miles on the Amazon.

Since the 1960s, Amazon has lost about 20 percent of its forest cover due to deforestation and fire. Fires and logging are often closely related, but not always, the Enquist said. Deforestation increases the likelihood of wildfires, as climate change causes more frequent and more severe droughts in the region, and fire is often used to clear large areas of rainforest for the agricultural industry. Brings a ripple effect. According to the authors, forest loss is projected to reach 21% to 40% by 2050, and such habitat loss will have a significant impact on the biodiversity of the region.

“Most of the fires in the Amazon are deliberately caused by people, so preventing them is primarily under our control,” said research co-author Conservation International’s Climate Change. Patrick Rolldans, Senior Manager of Biodiversity, said. “One way is to re-commit to Brazil’s strong deforestation policies and replicate them in other Amazon countries, in combination with incentives for the forest economy.”

The authors write that policies to protect Amazon’s biodiversity should include formal approval of indigenous lands, which is more than one-third of the Amazon region. It is less polluted and natural resources are better managed.

The authors state that their study emphasizes the dangers of continuing loose policy enforcement. When a fire invades the center of the Amazon basin, which has the highest biodiversity, the effects are even more disastrous, even if the rate of burning of the forest does not change.

This study was made possible by strategic investment funding allocated by the University of Arizona’s Institute for Arizona Resilience and the University’s Bridging Biodiversity and Conservation Science Group. Additional support came from the National Science Foundation’s Data Revolution Utilization Program. Data and calculations were provided through a plant information and ecology network supported by CyVerse, the NSF’s data management platform led by the University of Arizona.

Studies show that logging and the impact of logging on Amazon’s biodiversity

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