Does deforestation drive disease?

Certain levels of deforestation boosts the population of a disease-causing species.
12 December 2016
Presented by Tom O'Hanlon

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Deforestation

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An area of rainforest the size of Panama is lost every year to deforestation and we know habitat loss is probably the leading factor driving extinction today. However, another potential problem could be an increase in certain disease-causing organisms which benefit from the changing habitat. Ecosystems are complex and changes to the conditions each species needs to survive can impact on each other and throw it out of balance. Aaron Morris, from Bournemouth University and the IRD in France, has been looking at how changes in the local environment have affected populations of the bacterium responsible for the debilitating Buruli ulcer skin disease.

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