Importance Of Tropical Rainforest's

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  • Created by: Debbie
  • Created on: 08-04-13 10:26

Importance Of Tropical Rainforest's

  • Biodiversity: It is estimated that they could contain up to 50% of the world's biodiversity. This is potentially up to 15 million species.
  • Photosynthesis: Tropical rainforests are often referred to as the 'lungs of the earth' and convert large amounts of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide back into oxygen. 
  • Flood control (interception, transpiration): Rainforests are an excellent natural measure to reducing flooding. There is leaf cover in rainforests all year so interception continually happens, extending rivers lag time. All vegetation uptakes water and transpires it.
  • Control of soil erosion: The root systems of trees and shrubs hold the very thin soil of rainforest in place. If trees are removed then both erosion of topsoil and landslides are more likely.
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Importance Of Tropical Rainforest's

  • Medical Remedies: Rainforests have been the source of many of today's drugs,including the basic ingredients for the hormone contraceptive pill, quinine (a anti-malaria drug) and curare (a paralysing drug).
  • Cash crops and agricultural products: Yam, coffee, rubber, mango, banana, sugarcane, cocoa and avocado were all first discovered in rainforests.
  • Ecotourism: With people becoming ever more environmentally conscious and looking for increasing adventures, ecotourism to rainforests is increasing. This not only helps protect rainforests, but creates income for locals. Ecotourism is an important income to countries like Costa Rica and Belize.
  • Home to indigenous groups: Although the number of indigenous groups and people have declined rapidly since colonisation in South America, it is estimated that there are still over 200,000 people that consider the Amazon their home.
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