El Diario reports:
Deforestation accelerates the destruction of biodiversity:
Study alerts about endangered species
More than half of the species of trees in the Amazon are in danger of extinction, according to a study by a team of 158 researchers from 21 countries and disseminated by the Center for Research and Promotion of Farmers (CIPCA).
Amazon forest cover has been declining since the 50s, but the study warns that currently between 36% and 56% of the 15,000 species of trees in the Amazon qualify as globally threatened under the criteria of the Red List for Endangered species of the IUCN.
The study published by the journal Science Advances compared data from research plots along the Amazon with maps of current and projected deforestation to estimate where and how many species have disappeared.
“We are not saying that the situation has worsened suddenly for the trees in the Amazon, we are only offering a new estimate of how species of trees have been affected by historic deforestation, and how they will be affected by the loss of forests in the future” said Nigel Pitman, one of the scientists who led the study.
Vincent Vos, of the Center for Research and Promotion of Farmers and member of the research team, explained that “the study provides insight that the accelerated destruction of the Amazon forest, due to the advance of the agricultural frontier, will have major consequences for biodiversity the region. If we lose about 50% of the tree species also lose many animals and even the economic and environmental benefits we get from these forests,” he said.
He warned that “it is also likely that among the species that disappear, there are important species for timber, fruits or their medicinal properties. The extinction of a species such as chestnut [known worldwide as Brazilian nuts but production mainly comes from Boivia] would be disastrous for the economy of the Bolivian Amazon”.