December 17, 2013

Tropical rainforests in danger of losing tree diversity

A satellite image of a green swath of tropical forest doesn’t tell the whole story. About half the world's tropical forests are relatively young. Unless protected, they’re unlikely to last more than a human generation before falling to bulldozers or chainsaw. These ephemeral secondary forests may contribute little to tree biodiversity conservation, according to a new report by scientists at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama.