Meaning of Forest
A forest is a large area that is mainly covered with trees and vegetation. Several definitions of this term exist based on factors like tree density, tree height, legal standing, land use, and ecological function.
For instance, a forest can be defined as an area of land that is used principally for the production of timber. However, forests are mainly classified according to the dormant tree species and the prevailing climate in the area.
Forests, irrespective of the exact definition are composed of elements that can be broadly categorized into two; biotic (that is, living) and abiotic components. The biotic components include the trees themselves, shrubs, grasses, vines and several non-woody plants that grow in the land. The herbaceous plants are algae, fungi, and fungi. The abiotic, on the other hand,
include rocks, water, soil, logs, and dead trees.
Given their contribution to the ecosystem, trees have very many benefits.
Importance of Forest
- Forests are homes to millions of animals. Many animals form their food chains in forests through their interaction with each other.
- Forests form watershed regions; water mainly originates from water-catchment areas mostly in forested areas.
- The fact the tree covers form 90 percent of all animal species means they form rich reserves for genres of biodiversity.
- During the day trees absorb carbon dioxide as they give out oxygen effectively helping in the purification of air.
- Forests stabilize climate by regulating atmospheric temperatures through environmental breeze and evapotranspiration.
- Tress, when they shed small branches and leaves, recycle soil nutrients. The roots break soil facilitating water filtration.
- Forests regulate natural water cycle through the evaporation and the subsequent condensation followed by precipitation.
- Forests contain trees that have medicinal values. Such trees are crucial to medical and pharmaceutical breakthrough.
- Forest covers attract tourists who come to see wild animals and attractive physical structures thus bringing in revenue.
- Forests form the best places to adventure and exploration. They provide ideal settings to reconnect with nature.
- They prevent global warming. By eliminating carbon dioxide in the air, trees reduce greenhouse effect responsible for increasing earth temperatures.
- The tree cover prevents soil erosion. The roots hold soil particles strongly together so water does not wash them away.
- They are home to certain communities. To such indigenous people, their survival depends almost entirely of the trees.
- Forests attract rainfalls and when rainwater flows downstream it transports manure to other low-lying areas.
- They block winds. Groups of trees serve as windbreaks thus providing a buffer for crops that are sensitive to wind.
- Forests muffle noise. Since sound fades fast in forests, trees are commonly used to form natural noise barriers.
- They provide us with foods. Some of the trees available in forests bear edible fruits, seeds, nuts, and saps.
- Forests are riches sources of building materials that include timber and resin. Interestingly, these resources are renewable.
- They create employment opportunities. Millions of people are either employed directly or indirectly in forest conservations.
- Visiting forests helps us relax and boosts our creativity. They also speed up recovery and promote meditation.
Given the many benefits of forests in the economy, personal life and ecosystem, everyone should make a contribution in their preservation. Unnecessary deforestations should be stopped and behaviors that promote massive felling of trees should be abandoned. This way, the diverse animal species using forests as their habitats will be persevered.
By: Joni Kim