Rainforests are incredibly important for many reasons. To start, they provide a massive amount of oxygen – the Amazon alone produces over 20% of the Earth’s oxygen. They also have an incredible amount of biodiversity. They are home to 170,000 of the world’s 250,000 known plant species. Rain forests can have hundreds of tree species per hectare where as in the US, there are only about 700 species. Many of the world’s pther plant and animal species call the rainforests home, including much of the sources of our medicine.
In addition to creating 28 percent of the world’s oxygen, rain Forests are also very important for their extreme biodiversity. Scientists estimate as much as 70 percent of all species on the Earth are found in these dwindling jungles. Biodiversity is not only one of nature’s build it safety nets, but it is also a testament to the unique and complexities of life on our planet. So many species, particularly plants and fungi, have long been sought for potential pharmaceutical usage. If the rain forests disappear, natural compounds that could save millions of lives through scientific research could disappear with them.
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