Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Temperate and Boreal Forest Preservation

Temperate and boreal forests differ from tropical forests in that they grow at latitudes of cool to cold winters and live in places that receive seasonal variation. Like tropical forests, temperate and boreal forests have been greatly reduced from their original area on Earth. While tropical forests have lost an estimated 50 percent of their area, a very small percentage of temperate forests and boreal forests remain from their original population.

The temperate forests that remain in eastern North America, northeastern Asia, and Europe share the following characteristics: varied temperature from below zero to 85°F (30°C); even precipitation throughout the year; moderately dense canopy with partial light penetration; fertile soil; and seven to 10 tree species per square mile (three to four species per km).

Temperate forests contain plant, tree, and animal diversity, and they occupy moderate climates with a long growing season. These factors have made temperate forests attractive to generations of people for timber and hunting. Due to their location in temperate climates, cities and towns have grown up near temperate forests, so the trees have been accessible for logging. As towns expanded, the forests became fragmented, which worsened the conditions for the forest ecosystem.

Boreal forests, also called taiga, occupy the largest biome on the Earth's land surface and grow in the northern parts of North America, Europe, and Asia. These forests contain the following characteristics: cold climates with precipitation mainly as snow; sparse canopy that permits moderate light penetration; nutrient-poor soil; trees that are mainly cold-tolerant evergreen conifers; and animal diversity that may be greater than plant diversity. Though boreal forests occupy places remote from many urban centers, they have been severely reduced by centuries of logging and are in jeopardy of disappearing within a few generations.

Globalization of economic markets combined with population growth has put pressure on all the world's forests, but these things occur unevenly across the face of the globe. Because temperate forests occur near population centers, throughout history they have been cut down at a faster rate than the remote boreal forests. Regardless of how these forests have been accessed and harvested, temperate and boreal forests require the same dedicated protection as forests in the Tropics. Though local efforts can protect some tropical forests, temperate and boreal forests will likely need the oversight of governments and international organizations. These forests lie in industrialized countries where big businesses and government have often worked in close association. The international Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) stated in its recent report State of the World's Forests 2007, 「 『What happens to forests' will be largely determined by 『what happens outside forests'.」 In other words, small local communities may no longer have the power to protect the remaining forests and the success or failure of conservation will rest with strong leadership.

Source of Information : Green Technology Conservation Protecting Our Plant Resources

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