Mongabay.com is considered a leading source of information on tropical forests by some of the world's top ecologists and conservationists. TROPICAL RAINFORESTS: References

Introduction of Alien Species



James, H.F. and S.L. Olson ("Descriptions of thirty-two species of birds from the Hawaiian Islands: part II. Passeriformes," Ornithology Monogr. 46:1-88, 1991) note that 62 bird species have gone extinct since the arrival of the Polynesians in the Hawaiian islands.

According to Wagner, W.L., Herbst, D.R., Sohmer, S.H., in Manual of the Flowering Plants of Hawaii, Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press and Bishop Museum Press, 1990, today Hawaii has more alien plant species than native ones.

Roads

Smith, N.J.H., Rainforest corridors, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1982 explores the Trans-Amazonian highway project.

Fragmentation

Based on studies in the Amazon, W.F. Laurance concludes fragmented forests may lose up to 36% of their biomass in the first few years after fragmentation ("Dynamics and biomass of Amazonian forest fragments," ITTO Tropical Forest Update Vol. 8 no. 1, 1998).

A survey of human disturbance of world ecosystems is found in L. Hannah, et al. "A Preliminary Inventory of Human Disturbance of World Ecosystems," Ambio Vol. 23 No. 4-5, July 1994.

Climate Change


Whitmore, T.C. in "Potential impact of climate change on tropical rain forest seedlings and forest regeneration," Climate Change Vol. 39, Issue 2-3 (429-438) 1998 suggests that today's fragmented forests may have less resilience to future climactic change because changes in cyclone occurrence and increased rainfall seasonality may effect seedling ecology.

The impact of climate change on tropical forests is further examined in Woodwell, G.M and Mackenzie, F.T., eds. Biotic Feedbacks in the Global Climactic System: Will the Warming Feed the Warming? New York: Oxford University Press, 1995.

Debt

In Third World Debt and Tropical Deforestation (Binghampton: State University of New York, 1992) Kahn, J.R. and McDonald, J.A. deatils the role of debt in tropical deforestation.

Oxfam America Action Alert ("Free Africa from the Debt Trap," 2/15/96) estimate the debt of Sub-Sahara Africa in 1980 at $84 billion and, in 1996, at $210 billion.

Myers, N. in "The world's forests: problems and potentials," Environmental Conservation. 23 (2) 1996 estimates that tropical forest countries share two-thirds of the developing world's debt.

Population and Poverty


Current population information comes from the U.S. Bureau of the Census, Report WP/98, World Population Profile: 1998, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1999.

FAO makes predictions on future food-land requirements in State of the World's Forests 1997 (SOFO).

Myers calculates that the population of tropical developing countries grew by roughly 19%, while their deforestation expanded by 90% during the 1980s in Myers, N., "Population and Biodiversity," Ambio Vol. 24 No. 1, Feb. 1995.

Consumption

The hamburger connection between cheap beef and rainforest clearing for pasture was popularized in activist campaigns and in Harris, M. ("The revolutionary hamburger," Psychology Today 17(10): 6-8, 1983), Myers, N., ("The cost of a "Big Mac"? Latin America's forests," World Environment Report 6(18): 1-2, 1980), and Nations, J. D. and D. I. Komer ("Rainforests and the hamburger society," Ecologist 17(4/5): 161-167).
However this linkage between Amazonian deforestation and demand for fast-food is tenuous at best according to Nigel J.H. Smith, Emanuel Adilson S. Serro, Paulo T. Alvim, and Italo C. Falesi, Amazonia - Resiliency and Dynamism of the Land and its People, The United Nations University, 1995.

Primack, R.B., Essentials of Conservation Biology (Sunderland, Mass.: Sinauer Associates 1993) mentions the cassava-animal feed connection to deforestation in Thailand.

Myers compares consumption between people in the developing world and the industrialized world calculating that the 58 million people added to the Earth in developed countries during the 1990s will pollute more than the 915 million people added in developing countries during the same period (Myers, N., "Population and Biodiversity," Ambio Vol. 24 No. 1, Feb. 1995).

 

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