Rainforest diversity and destruction.

Essay by menzies45High School, 11th gradeA, May 2006

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Rainforest Destruction


-The world's largest rainforests occur in the tropical regions of the Americas, Asia and Africa. Smaller areas of rainforest exist on many pacific islands and in northern Australia.

-Half the world's Rainforests grow in the American Tropics.

-The Amazon jungle is the world's largest tropical rainforest. The forest covers the basin of the Amazon.


In 1950 rainforests covered about 8,700,000 square miles. Today less than half the original extent of the earth's rainforest remains. Scientists estimate that rainforest deforestation wipes out about 7500 species a year. Rainforests once covered 14% of the earth's land surface now they cover 6%.

3. Tropical rainforests across the world are quite diverse, but share several defining characteristics including climate, precipitation, canopy structure, and diversity of species. Tropical rainforests are divided into at least five layers: the overstory, the canopy, the understory, the shrub layer, and the forest floor.


-Rainforests must lie in the "tropics" to grow and usually have at least 80 inches of rain per year.

-Rainforests have a high level of biological diversity or biodiversity.

-Symbiotic relationships between species: species in the rainforest often work together.


Humans are the main cause of rainforest destruction or deforestation. Humans are cutting down rainforests for many reasons, including:

-wood for both timber and wood for making fires

-agriculture for both small and large farms

-land for poor farmers who don't have anywhere else to live

-grazing land for cattle

-road construction

One of the leading causes of rainforest destruction is logging. Many types of wood used for furniture, flooring, and construction are harvested from tropical forests in Africa, Asia, and South America.

The world's rainforests are found in the poorest areas on the planet. The people who live in and around rainforests rely on these areas...