The Management of Global Ecosystems

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The Management of Global Ecosystems

Woodlands and forests throughout the world are under threat from being cutdown for a variety of reasons. Therefore management is becoming increasingly important.

The main method of management is called sustainability. This means that the forests are used, but in a way which does not affect their long-term growth. Workers carefully harvest the trees and their resources.The trees that have been used are then replaced.

It is essential that the governments of the countries where there are still large areas of forest be persuaded not to allow them to be cut down. Unfortunately it is not that easy,as the forests often represent a lucrative short-term economic resource for the country.

The Effect of Forest Clearance on the Nutrient Cycle:

The soils of the tropical rainforest seem to be very fertile, as they support a wide range of plants and animals. However that is not actually the case.

The vegetation itself produces most of the nutrients that are then re-used. There is rapid leaf fall and this is quickly decomposed in the hot and humid conditions, creating a deep and nutrient rich humus layer.

By removing the trees, humans have also removed the main source of nutrients in the soil. Consequently when areas have been cleared for agriculture, the soils have quickly become infertile and useless.

Before deforestation
After deforestation

The Effect of Forest Clearance on the Global Climate:

Trees absorb carbon dioxide and convert it back into oxygen, ready for animals to breathe. They are effectively the lungs of the world and are therefore very important.

By chopping down vast areas of both the rainforests and deciduous woodlands, less carbon dioxide can be processed, meaning that there is morein the atmosphere. In turn, this increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is one of the suspected causes of global warming.

The Effect of Forest Clearance on animals and plants:

The tropical rainforests are home to countless species of animals and plants, some of which may not have been discovered yet. By chopping down the trees, the habitats of these plants and animals are being destroyed and they will die. The rainforests provide a huge range of foods and medicines that are essential for humans, and these are also being lost due to the deforestation.

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