Tropical forests abound with regional and local endemic species and house at least half of the species on earth, while covering less than 7% of its land (Gentry, 1988; Wilson, 1988; as cited in Skole and Tucker, 1993). Their clearing, burning, draining, and harvesting can make slopes dangerously unstable, degrade water resources, change local climate, or release to the atmosphere the organic carbon (C) that they store in their biomass and soils as greenhouse gases (GHGs). These forest disturbances accounted for 19% or more of annual human-caused emissions of CO2 to the atmosphere from the years 2000 to 2010, and that level is more than the global transportation sector, which accounted for 14% of these emissions. Forest regrowth from disturbances removes about half of the CO2 emissions coming from the forest disturbances (Houghton, 2013; IPCC 2014). Another GHG of concern when considering tropical forests is N2O released from forest fires.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Land Resources Monitoring, Modeling, and Mapping with Remote Sensing|
|Number of pages||20|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2015|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Science(all)
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)