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 A satellite photo of deforestation shows large areas of dark green intact rainforests with large tan bare areas in the center and to the bottom left side. Light green crop or pasture areas are scattered throughout the tan areas. A fish-bone pattern of small clearings along new roads can be seen within the dark green areas in many places.
Habitat destruction through deforestation, especially of tropical rainforests as seen in this satellite view of Amazon rainforests in Brazil, is a major cause of the current decline in biodiversity. (credit: modification of work by Jesse Allen and Robert Simmon, NASA Earth Observatory)

Biologists estimate that species extinctions are currently 500–1000 times the rate seen previously in Earth’s history when there were no unusual geological or climatic events occurring. Biologists call the previous rate the “background” rate of extinction. The current high rates will cause a precipitous decline in the biodiversity (the diversity of species) of the planet in the next century or two. The losses will include many species we know today. Although it is sometimes difficult to predict which species will become extinct, many are listed as endangered (at great risk of extinction). However, the majority of extinctions will be of species that science has not yet even described.

Most of these “invisible” species that will become extinct currently live in tropical rainforests like those of the Amazon basin. These rainforests are the most diverse ecosystems on the planet and are being destroyed rapidly by deforestation, which biologists believe is driving many rare species with limited distributions extinct. Between 1970 and 2011, almost 20 percent of the Amazon rainforest was lost. Rates are higher in other tropical rainforests. What we are likely to notice on a day-to-day basis as a result of biodiversity loss is that food will be more difficult to produce, clean water will be more difficult to find, and the rate of development of new medicines will become slower, as we depend upon other species for much of these services. This increased loss of biodiversity is almost entirely a result of human activities as we destroy species’ habitats, introduce disruptive species into ecosystems, hunt some species to extinction, continue to warm the planet with greenhouse gases, and influence nature in other ways. Slowing the loss of biodiversity is within our abilities if we make dramatic changes in our consumptive behavior and identify and protect the elements of our ecosystems that we depend on for our lives and welfare.

Questions & Answers

must all prokaryotic cells posses a cell wall?
chris Reply
what is biology?
Cathy Reply
biology is basically the study of life
Robert
that's true
Tonia
it's the study of living things
Tonia
What is a celiac disease
Falase Reply
distinguish between properties and characteristics
Elee Reply
what are organelles
Elee
organelles are substances that makes up a cell
chris
what is biology
Prevail Reply
biology is science that studies life
Elee
it's the study of living and non living things
now that we have an estimate for the diameter of the cell.what estimate can we make about the volume of the cell?
faxhood Reply
why too much insulin result in low blood sugar
Leri Reply
For example, too much exercise can cost you to lose to much weight. Too much insulin will pull to much sugar out of your systemic system into your cells.
Eric
difference between DNA and RNA
Eyitayo Reply
DNA is deoxyribonuclaic acid. Deoxy refers to a lack of oxygen. The Ribose moity is missing an OH group. I think it is missing from the second C of the ring. RNA is ribonucleic acid. DNA has our genetic code in on it. RNA is translated from DNA and carries the blue print for protein synthesis.
Eric
The OH group on RNA prevents it from being reactive. But it is very unstable though. Would you want such a power tool floating around in your body, no. And you have three types of RNA: mRNA, tRNA and rRNA. Please let me know it this helped?😄
Eric
o
Browse
Eric answered this question perfectly
what determines the aeration level in the soil
Shola Reply
what is homeostasis?
Sarita Reply
It means balance in a biological system.
Eric
What is biology
Don Reply
Biology z the study of life
GOLDEN
what's biology
buran
biology is the study of living nd none living organism
Chinaza
Biology is the study of life
Quadri
yes Sir
Said
what's cell biology
Prince
biology is the study of life
Raheal
Biology is a science subject that deals with the study of living things and how they interact with there environment
chris
what is asexual reproduction,?
Awoi Reply
A type of reproduction which does not involve the fusion of gametes or a change in the number of chromosomes
Serena
Reproduction without sex... In which form a single organism or cell makes a copy of itself.
Serena
Please explain the concept of mitosis and meiosis
Serena
I guess you could use it for study buddies and brushing up on what you need to
Serena
what is mitosis
Klp
Asexual reproduction?
Serena
why pepsin and trypsin released in active form?
Yacqub
mitosis is the type cell division in which two daughter cells have same no. of chormosomes
syed
Hi
Don
chromosome number remains the same in mitosis
mc
Ello
Henry
Hii
Nikky
Yrr help me.
Nikky
Physical chemistry..... Koi h jo mujhe physical chem ki notes send kr ske
Nikky
what is asexual reproduction
Targbe
what makes golgi body in plants
Abdulkareem Reply
name the membrane of the plants
Abdulkareem
how can turners syndrome be corrected before birth
Balinda
which animal survive from being preyed just because of being humble, slow, and not aggressive
Balinda
Plants have golgi body's also. Plants are eukaryotic cells. And membrane bound organelles are a characteristic of eukaryotic cells. Moreover golgi body's are creatted from the ER. Also do not forget plants have plastids and animal cells do not.
Eric
During organs transplantation, the organs cannot be taken from just anybody since the graft would be rejected sooner or later due to
Liter Reply
Non-MHC compatibility on the organ and an attack from the patient's immune system.
Eric
what makes golgi body in plants
Abdulkareem
why trypsin and pepsin released in active form
Yacqub
Let us remember MHC'S on our cells. This is how our cells determine self from n o n s e l f. Transplanted tissue has to have a certain amount markers. These have to match to the recipiant's markers. Even with this, immunosuppresant medacine is prescribed to the recipient.
Eric
Even with these measures the body may still reject the transport. This can occur even after the recipient excepting the transport for some time.
Eric
what is integument system
Joy Reply
This system is our skin. This includes the skin lining our alimentary system which includes the tissue from our mouth to our anus. Our skin is our largest organ system. It is mostly made up of epithelial tissue.
Eric

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Source:  OpenStax, Concepts of biology. OpenStax CNX. Feb 29, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11487/1.9
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