The tropical rainforests of the Amazon Basin face the threat of deforestation. Deforestation is happening for the following reasons:
The impacts of the deforestation of the Amazon Basin include the following.
Once the land is cleared of rainforest vegetation the soil is left bare. When it rains, the nutrients in the soil are washed away. The nutrient cycle stops because there are no plants or trees shedding leaves to replace the nutrients in the soil. The soil is no longer able to support plant life because it is not fertile. The roots of plants and trees no longer hold the soil together so it is easily eroded.
Many different species of plants and animals die because of deforestation. As plants and animals are closely connected through the food web, deforestation this reduces the biodiversity, or variety of species found in the tropical rainforest.
The trees and plants of the Amazon Basin absorb carbon dioxide during the process of photosynthesis. If there are fewer trees and plants, due to deforestation, then less carbon dioxide is removed from the atmosphere. In this way deforestation contributes to global warming and therefore climate change.
The creation of mines, farms and roads - which caused deforestation - has also led to economic development. The money created from these enterprises allows a country to generate foreign income, which can then be used to pay off debts or be invested in further development projects.