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Untouched primary forests are “irreplaceable”

The Straits Times, Saturday 1 October 2011

UNTOUCHED primary forests are ‘irreplaceable’ when it comes to saving tropical biodiversity, say researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS).

Their work with scientists from Australia, Europe and the US analysed studies from around the world, comparing undisturbed forests with those that had been affected by farming, logging, plantations and other human activity.

The study, published in the journal Nature last month, also highlighted which regions of the globe have not been sufficiently studied. Africa is one, it found.

Birds, insects and plants are most vulnerable to forest clearing, the researchers said.