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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

difference between DNA and RNA
Eyitayo Reply
what determines the aeration level in the soil
Shola Reply
what is homeostasis?
Sarita Reply
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
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
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
what is integument system
Joy Reply
Cellular respiration
Lucy Reply
what are the characteristics of living things
Ruth Reply
Movement Respiration Nutrition/Feeding Irritability/Sensitivity Growth Excretion Reproduction Deat/Life span
Hashim
What makes children from the same father and mother sometimes don't look alike?
Hashim
identification of problems
Nana Reply
what happens in the process of raising the human arms
Nana
what is biology
Brandi Reply
first step in scientific method
Brandi
In an investigation the pancreatic duct of a mammal was blocked.It was found that the blood sugar regulation remained normal while food digestion was impaired.Explain
Mac Reply
To begin with, obstruction of pancreatic duct will alter the blood sugar level as the juices responsible for glucose regulation will be rendered inconsequential. This will in turn affect the rate of digestion and absorbtion of digested food substances by the Villus .
Muktar
characteristics of algae
OMIME Reply
Algae are eukaryotic organisms. Algae do not have roots and stems. Algae have chlorophyll and helps in carrying out photosynthesis.
Aditi
Cell wall is the rigid layer enclosed by membranes of plants and prokayortic cell, it maintains the shape of the cell and serve as a protective barrier.
chizoba Reply
ECOLOGY: is a branch of biology that studies the interactions among organisms and their biophysical environment, which includes both biotic and abiotic components. 
chizoba
via nutrient cycles and energy flows. For instance, the energy from the sun is captured by plants through photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is a biological process through which plants manufacture their own food with the aid of light from the sun and frc sources (e.g. cabon dioxide and water)
chizoba

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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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