Natural Resources and Energy in the Rainforests

1550 Words Apr 12th, 2011 7 Pages
Natural Resources and Energy in the Rainforests

The beauty, majesty, and timelessness of a primary rainforest is indescribable. It is impossible to capture on film, to describe in words, or to explain to those who have never had the awe-inspiring experience of standing in the heart of a primary rainforest. Rainforests have evolved over millions of years to turn into the incredibly complex environments they are today. Rainforests represent a store of living and breathing renewable natural resources that for eons, by virtue of their richness in both animal and plant species, have contributed a wealth of resources for the survival and well-being of humankind. These resources have included basic food supplies, clothing, shelter, fuel, spices,
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• A single rainforest reserve in Peru is home to more species of birds than are found in the entire United States.
• One single tree in Peru was found to harbor forty-three different species of ants - a total that approximates the entire number of ant species in the British Isles.
• The number of species of fish in the Amazon exceeds the number found in the entire Atlantic Ocean. The biodiversity of the tropical rainforest is so immense that less than 1 percent of its millions of species have been studied by scientists for their active constituents and their possible uses. When an acre of tropical rainforest is lost, the impact on the number of plant and animal species lost and their possible uses is staggering. Scientists estimate that we are losing more than 137 species of plants and animals every single day because of rainforest deforestation. Surprisingly, scientists have a better understanding of how many stars there are in the galaxy than they have of how many species there are on Earth. Estimates vary from 2 million to 100 million species, with a best estimate of somewhere near 10 million; only 1.4 million of these species have actually been named. Today, rainforests occupy only 2 percent of the entire Earth's surface and 6 percent of the world's land surface, yet these remaining lush rainforests support over half of our planet's wild plants and trees and one-half of the world's wildlife. Hundreds and thousands of these rainforest species are being
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