Fewer than one in five of the plants and animals which currently live in the world's rainforests will still be here in 90 years time, a study predicts. Rainforests currently hold more than half of all the plant and animal species on Earth. However, scientists say the combined effects of climate change and deforestation may force them to adapt, move, or die. By 2100, this could have altered two-thirds of the rainforests in Central and South America, about 70% in Africa. The Amazon Basin alone could see changes in biodiversity for 80% of the region. Greg Asner, of the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology in California, who led the research, said it was the first study yet to show the world's natural ecosystems will undergo profound changes. He explained: "This is the first global compilation of projected ecosystem impacts for humid tropical forests affected by these combined forces. "For those areas of the globe projected to suffer most from climate change, land managers could focus their efforts on reducing the pressure from deforestation, thereby helping species adjust to climate change, or enhancing their ability to move in time to keep pace with it. "On the flip side, regions of the world where deforestation is projected to have fewer effects from climate change could be targeted for restoration." Asner and his team made their findings by looking at global deforestation and logging maps from satellite imagery, and high-resolution data from 16 climate-change projections worldwide. They then ran scenarios on how different types of species could be geographically reshuffled by 2100. The results showed only 18%- less than a fifth � to 45% � less than half- of the plants and animals making up ecosystems in tropical rainforests may remain as we known them today.


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