The loss and degradation of forest lead to a diminution of primary productivity – that is, a loss of the productive capacity of that area. The deforested or damaged area loses its ability to retain nutrients, has reduced capacity to adapt (due to loss of gene pools), loses gene flow (because of fragmentation), and has reduced capacity to store water. Carbon stores in converted areas are much lower than in forests. For instance, pastureland in Amazonia stores only 3% as much carbon in its plants as does an intact rainforest (Perry, 1994). If an area is not allowed to reforest, carbon stocks will not be replenished, especially since converted forest lands are usually subjected to abusive land-use practices.

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