Importance of Forests:
A forest is an area with a high density of all types of trees, shrubs, vegetations. Forests cover considerable areas of woodland. The word forest eventually came to mean wooded land more generally. Forests can be found in all regions capable of sustaining tree growth. Forests sometimes contain many tree species within a small area (as in tropical rain and temperate deciduous areas), or relatively few species over large areas (e.g., arid region). Forests are often home to many animal and plant species, and other vegetations. This emphasis on trees reflects their ecological, biological, and cultural importance. Also, trees are critical to the classification of forests. Trees represent some of the oldest living organisms on the planet. Trees are instrumental in the development and support of civilizations. They form important links in the earth's geological, chemical, and hydrological cycles by:
- Taking in CO2 and releasing oxygen;
- Releasing carbon and mineral elements such as nitrogen and phosphorus (important in plant growth) as they decay;
- Absorbing moisture for growth and releasing it as vapor through transpiration;
- Preventing erosion by reducing the force of rainfall at the soil surface and by intercepting and absorbing water, rather than allowing it to run off directly;
- Harboring a diversity of wildlife;
- Acting as windbreaks;
- Providing us with shade and beauty on a largely agricultural and urban landscape.
At present unfortunately, the forest environment has been impaired heavily by natural processes or by human activities resulting large scale deforestations. Deforestation is the conversion of forested areas to non-forest land by cutting of trees for urban use. Deforestation results from removal of trees without sufficient reforestation.
Impact on the environment by deforestation:
- Generally, the removal or destruction of significant areas of forest cover has resulted in a degraded environment with reduced biodiversity. In many countries, massive deforestation is ongoing and is shaping climate and geography.
- ·Deforestation, to be precise, responsible for Global warming.
- · Deforestation affects the amount of water in the soil and groundwater and the moisture in the atmosphere. Forests support considerable biodiversity, providing valuable habitat for wildlife.
- Moreover, forests foster medicinal conservation and the recharge of aquifers.
- ·Deforested areas become sources of surface water runoff, which moves much faster than subsurface flows. That quicker transport of surface water can translate into flash flooding and more localized floods than would occur with the forest cover.
- ·Long-term gains can be obtained by managing forest lands sustainable to maintain both forest cover and provide a biodegradable renewable resource.
- ·Forests are important stores of organic carbon, and forests can extract carbon dioxide and pollutants from the air, thus contributing to biosphere stability and probably relevant to the greenhouse effect.
- Forests are also valued for their aesthetic beauty and as a cultural resource and tourist attraction.