Amazon tree transpiration crucial to keep rainforest wet

The individual trees in the Amazon rainforest play a crucial role in keeping the rainforest intact. Not just because the trees together create the forest, but also because – together – they create the climate (through something called the shallow moisture convection pump).

Take home message: in order to preserve the Amazon, deforestation really has to stop completely. A ‘meeting in the middle’ compromise does not work – as (amplified by global climate change) that promotes devastating droughts in the remaining part of the forest.

As we’ve learned in this series, in face of the Anthropocene Extinction tree species are (probably) even more threatened than birds, amphibians and mammals.

That naturally brings us to the Amazon – the largest terrestrial hotspot of biodiversity, and an ecosystem with huge significance to the global climate system. It is also the ecosystem with the largest number on endemic-only tree species.

Ben Britten