Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 3
  • Cited by
    This chapter has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    Emmett, C.F. Jensen, R.R. Hardin, P.J. and Long, D.G. 1997. Detecting change in equatorial regions of Brazil using medium resolution satellite imagery. Vol. 4, Issue. , p. 1557.

    D'Souza, G. and Malingreau, J. P. 1994. NOAA‐AVHRR studies of vegetation characteristics and deforestation mapping in the Amazon Basin. Remote Sensing Reviews, Vol. 10, Issue. 1-3, p. 5.


    Myers, Norman 1993. Tropical Forests: The Main Deforestation Fronts. Environmental Conservation, Vol. 20, Issue. 01, p. 9.


    ×
  • Print publication year: 1991
  • Online publication date: November 2009

12 - Deforestation in Brazilian Amazonia

Summary

Editor's Note: Why are ecologists concerned about the imminent destruction of the last of the tropical forests?

The answers are legion, so many as to seem diffuse, so powerful as to seem exaggerated and shrill, so fundamental as to seem obvious, and so demanding as to seem preemptive.

Forests are the great biotic flywheel that keeps the biosphere functioning more or less predictably. They are the major biotic component of the global carbon cycle, contain about three times as much carbon as the atmosphere, and their destruction contributes directly to the warming of the earth. Their presence determines the reflectivity of the earth over large areas, energy balance, water balance, nutrient fluxes, and air and water flows. They are, moreover, the major reservoir of biotic diversity on land: there is no habitat richer in species, none more promising as a source of succor for a swelling, scrambling, grasping human population uncertain as to where its great hopes lie. And yet, no habitat is being addressed more rapaciously than the tropical forests of Brazil.

Philip Fearnside is an ecologist with many years’ experience in research, writing, and teaching in Brazil. He writes here about one of the world's greatest tragedies and touches on the transitions in plant communities that accompany the process around the world. The shift from forest to grassland or lesser communities is common here as elsewhere under chronic disruption.

Recommend this book

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this book to your organisation's collection.

The Earth in Transition
  • Online ISBN: 9780511529917
  • Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511529917
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×