Rainforest being burned for agriculture.

Rainforest being burned for agriculture.

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Credit: GEORGE HOLTON/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Jungle burning. Aerial view of jungle rainforest being burnt to clear land for agriculture. This method of land clearance is quick and simple. The ash of the burnt vegetation also returns nutrients to the soil. However, the loss of the protective foliage leads to soil erosion as the soil is directly exposed to the heavy rainfall that is typical of jungle regions. The ground also loses the tree roots which normally bind it together and nutrients leach out of the soil. Within a few years of clearance, the land is unfertile and the farmer must move on to clear another patch of rainforest. Photograph of the Petan Jungle in Guatemala.

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Keywords: agriculture, burning, deforestation, environment, geography, guatemala, jungle, jungle burning, petan jungle, rainforest, rainforest clearing

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