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March 27 geo 188 - March27,2008Geo188 Unit8: CentralAmerica...

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March 27, 2008 Geo 188 Unit 8: Tropical Deforestation and the Case of the Amazon Central America 1950-90: lost about  ½  tropical rainforests o Hamburger connection   deforested land is used for cattle grazing – meat ate  by N/A Biodiversity Hotspots (conservation International: CI) High levels of biodiversity High rates of habitat and species loss o Most of central America, coast and southern part of Amazon, Caribbean  The greatest realm of biodiversity, by far... is the Amazon By far the largest river system in the world Amazon basin o 7.5M km2   6M of rainforest o 10x size of France o 60% of Brazil’s land space o 2% of earth’s land surface o >1/2 of worlds tropical rainforest Amazon Rainforest Biodiversity o 10% of worlds mammals  o 15% of world’s terrestrial plant biomass o 30% of all known species Canopies: some of the “last great unexplored frontiers of the natural world..” Rapid deforestation Recent in amazon basin Since 1970—1/4 deforested 1980s>> rising evidence of rainforest destruction and extinctions Severe vulnerability to erosion o Trees: anchored by shallow root system—soil is thin o Most of nutrients is in canopies  o Soil erode quickly w/ loss of forest cover—not used to that much rainfall.. most  was previously caught in the canopy Recall from earlier in course Indigenous populations in the Amazon o Hit hard by disease  Attempts to enslave—red gold
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