Amazon Rainforest Importance

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I. Importance
The Amazon Rainforest is perhaps the largest and most important terrestrial ecosystem in the world. Home to 30% of all the species known to man (“Importance”), the biodiversity contained within the Amazon Rainforest is unrivaled by any other ecosystem. Encompassing an area roughly the size of the continental United States (“Amazon Rainforest”), the Amazon Rainforest is home to 390 billion trees from 16,000 species, 40,000 plant species, 5,600 fish species, 1,300 bird species, 430 kinds of mammals, 1,000 kind of amphibians, and 400 kinds of reptiles (“Amazon Wildlife”). In addition to the species richness and species diversity within the Amazon Rainforest, the 390 billion trees act as a carbon sink by absorbing and retaining large amounts of carbon in their leaves, branches, and trunks; it is estimated that Amazonian trees store 86 billion tons of sequestered carbon (“Importance”). Furthermore, the Amazon Rainforest is an integral part of weather patterns not only in South American, but also in the United States and Central America. In South America, the precipitation produced through transpiration in the Amazon Rainforest nourishes areas that produce 70% of the South America’s GDP (“Importance”). The Amazon Rainforest also provides indispensable ecosystem services that sustain the local population; small-scale logging and gathering stimulate the economies of small towns and villages, and the Amazon River provides a mode of transportation as well as a

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