Understanding History of Southeast Asia’s Island Rainforests Crucial to Understanding Impact of Human Deforestation

After studying a million years of forest evolution on Southeast Asian islands, a Texas Tech University plant biologist said human deforestation and future climate change may add insult to injury for species in an already precarious situation.

Chuck Cannon, lead investigator for the study, said his team studied how changes in climate and sea levels affected the Sundaland-area rainforest’s evolutionary history in the last million years. Many important animals, such as the orangutan, are already at unusually low population sizes because of natural changes from the last Ice Age.

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