Problems of human intervention

  • New roads divide up parts of the rainforest and can cut off connections between different biotic and abiotic systems. For example, a road can stop monkeys such as the golden lion tamarin from travelling to gather food and, in turn, distribute seeds to re-sow plants in the forest.
  • Land clearance for farming, transportation and mining can lead to deforestation. Hardwood trees take many years to grow so can be difficult to replace.
  • Fertile soils that make farming possible are quickly washed away when the forest is cleared. If soil ends up in rivers, this can lead to flooding.
  • Loss of animal habitat occurs when trees are cut down. Hence, deforestation can result in endangering animals and plant life, or even causing them to become extinct.
  • Profits from large-scale farming and selling resources often go back to MEDCs or large companies and don't benefit the rainforest communities.
Large scale deforestation to make way for a new dam in the Amazon
Large scale deforestation has taken place in the Amazon