Deforestation around the Amazon isn’t something new: All throughout a lot of history, farmers have been clearing out patches to raise livestock and grow crops. However, that was on a smaller scale than these days. Over the last couple of decades, over 289,000 square miles have been cut, mainly to make way for soybean production and cattle.
While all of us know the results at the ecosystem level, like habitat loss and climate alteration, less is known concerning how deforestation has affected plant and animal populations throughout human history, and what may occur in the future. It’ll mean that the conservation status of the 15,000 tree species residing in this region, amongst the most diverse plant hotspots within the globe, remains unknown.
Using information from IUCNs (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List of Threatened Species, writers concluded that 36 – 57% of the Amazon’s species of trees likely would fall under the classification of threatened with extinction. Those figures reflect different scenarios scientists looked at for the year 2050: “optimistic” and “pessimistic.”
Also, they discovered that their trends aren’t restricted to the Amazon and may be applied to additional forests around the world, implying that most of the globe’s 40,000 tree species potentially share the exact same status. With the International Union for Conservation of Nature threshold for being eligible as threatened sitting at a loss of 30% Pitman explained that it’d mean that both Asia that has lost around 35% over the last 150 years, as well as Africa that has lost 55%, also would fall under the exact same category.