Research press release



Ecology: Deforestation and fires are shrinking Amazonian habitats

アマゾン盆地に生息する絶滅危惧種の最大85%が、過去20年間に森林減少や森林火災によって生息地のかなりの部分を失った可能性のあることを示す論文が、Nature に掲載される。アマゾン盆地で1万平方キロメートルの森林が焼失すると、生息域の10%以上がアマゾン盆地に分布する約27~37種の植物種と約2~3種の脊椎動物種が新たに影響を受けると推定され、森林火災が生物多様性の高いアマゾン盆地の中心部に近づくにつれ、生物多様性への影響は増加すると予想されている。

アマゾン盆地は、地球の気候を調節する重要な役割を担っており、既知の生物種全体の10%が生息している。森林の劣化は、アマゾン盆地の生態系の回復力を脅かしており、森林面積の約21~40%が2050年までに消失すると予測されており、アマゾンの生物多様性に大きな影響を与えることになる。今回、Xiao Fengたちは、こうした影響の解明を進めるため、森林火災が過去20年間に1万1514種の植物種と3079種の動物種の地理的分布域にどのように影響してきたのかを調査した。


Up to 85% of species listed as threatened in the Amazon may have lost a substantial portion of their habitat owing to deforestation and fires in the past two decades, a study in Nature indicates. It is estimated that for every 10,000 km2 of forest that is burned, about 27–37 additional plant species and about 2 or 3 more vertebrate species that have more than 10% of their range in the Amazon will be affected. As fires move closer to the heart of the Amazon Basin, which has greater levels of biodiversity, the impact of fires on biodiversity is expected to increase.

The Amazon Basin has a vital role in regulating the Earth’s climate and is home to 10% of all known species. Degradation of the forest threatens the resilience of this ecosystem; around 21–40% of the forest cover is predicted to be lost by 2050, which will have large impacts on Amazonian biodiversity. To better understand these impacts, Xiao Feng and colleagues investigate how forest fires have been affecting the geographic range of 11,514 plant species and 3,079 animal species over the past two decades.

Since 2001, 103,079–189,755 km2 of Amazon rainforest (2.2–4.1% of the total area) have experienced fires, which have impacted the ranges of 77.3–85.2% of species listed as threatened in this region, the authors estimate. They note that periods of increased fires correlate with relaxation of policies designed to slow deforestation and forest burning. In Brazil, policies to reduce deforestation implemented in the mid-2000s were relaxed in 2019, which saw an increase in fire-impacted area (around 20–28% higher than expected), affecting the ranges of an estimated 12,257–13,245 plant and vertebrate species. These findings demonstrate the connection between policy and forest fires and how these factors can impact biodiversity, the authors conclude.

doi: 10.1038/s41586-021-03876-7

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