New projections hopeful
Deforestation and habitat loss are expected to lead to an extinction crisis among tropical forest species. Humans in rural settings contribute most to deforestation of extant tropical forests. However, "Trends such as slowing population growth and intense urbanization give reason to hope that deforestation will slow, regeneration will accelerate, and mass extinction of tropical forest species will be avoided," report S.J. Wright, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and H.C. Muller-Landau, University of Minnesota, in Biotropica online.
The authors show that the proportion of potential forest cover remaining correlates with human population density among countries in both the tropics and the temperate zone. They use United Nations population projections and continent-specific relationships between both total and rural population density and forest remaining today to project future tropical forest cover.
Joe Wright | EurekAlert!
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