Environment and Ecology


What is the importance of the rain forest?

Half of all medicines prescribed worldwide are originally derived from wild products, and the United States National Cancer Institute has identified more than 2,000 tropical rain forest plants with the potential to fight cancer. Rubber, timber, gums, resins and waxes, pesticides, lubricants, nuts and fruits, flavorings and dyestuffs, steroids, latexes, essential and edible oils, and bamboo are among the products that would be drastically affected by the depletion of the tropical forests. In addition, rain forests greatly influence patterns of rain deposition in tropical areas; smaller rain forests mean less rain. Large groups of plants, like those found in rain forests, also help control levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.


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