Deforestation is the clearing of a forest and/or cutting down of trees for human benefits such as agriculture, wood exports, etc. Deforestation is the cause of numerous environmental impacts such as habitat loss, flooding and soil erosion. It can also cause climate change, by reducing the amount of rainfall and changing the amount of sunlight reflected from Earth’s surface and increases the risk of forest . Tree growth is important for biodiversity because they absorb carbon dioxide which is a harmful greenhouse gas . However, since deforestation reduces natural carbon sinks, it disrupts the balance between oxygen and carbon dioxide in the air causing the amount of carbon dioxide in the air to increase. This poses a serious threat since carbon dioxide traps the sun’s heat and radiated light inside the earth’s atmosphere. So, with the increase in carbon dioxide more heat is trapped and thus adding to the effects of global warming. Among the many places where deforestation takes place, Amazon seems to be one of the most affected ones. More than 20 percent of it is already gone, and much more of it is severely threatened due to deforestation . It is estimated that the Amazon alone is vanishing at a rate of 20,000 square miles a year .
The Kyoto Protocol set by the United Nations allocates countries to offset their greenhouse gas emissions by growing what they lost, that is reforestation, and/or establishing a forest in a barren land, that is afforestation. Each country is allowed a certain quota that limits their greenhouse emissions. For companies that uses deforestation for commercial purposes must reforest the land they cut off to compensate for the loss. More often than not the land is left alone to grow by itself. This process is called Secondary Succession. However, secondary succession takes a lot longer time since the land is devoid of nutrients whereas even though reforestation includes human help in re-growing the land, it would still take time. In whichever case, the land would take years to grow back to being what it was. Therefore, the amount of trees cut by deforestation is still greater than the amount of trees regrown by reforestation and thus effecting Amazon’s plant biodiversity. A prediction by the World Wildlife Organization states that by 2030, 55% of the Amazon’s Rainforest could vanish if current deforestation rates are maintained . Meaning half of its plant biodiversity could be gone by that time. Deforestation not only harms plant biodiversity it also harms the animals. Many living organisms are very sensitive to their environmental changes. The loss of their own niches would compel them to join other organisms in their niche. In this case the organisms who lost their niche would act as the invasive species and depending on other climatic or ecological factors these two species would cease to coexist. One of these two species might go extinct due to competitive exclusion or, as Darwin’s...