Significance of Forest for biodiversity as a habitat for other species. Forests are home to some of the most biodiversity-rich ecosystems on the planet. They provide habitat for an estimated 90% of threatened and endangered species.
Forest is defined by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization as “land spanning more than 0.5 hectares with trees higher than 5 meters and a canopy cover of more than 10%, or trees capable of reaching these criteria in this condition.”
Importance of Forest
Supports Ecosystems and Habitats
- Forests provide habitats to millions of animals and support numerous ecosystems.
- About 90 percent of all earth’s species dwell in forests.
- As a result, these species build food chains in the forests by interacting with one another in their physical habitats, resulting in the formation of an ecosystem.
- Ecosystems that are healthy are essential for the survival of animals. Moreover, millions of indigenous peoples continue to live in the forests and rely on them for existence.
- Forests are home to over 80% of terrestrial biodiversity, including 80% of amphibians, 75% of birds and 68% of mammals
- Because trees and plants regulate atmospheric temperatures through evapotranspiration and provide an environmental breeze, forests act as climate stabilizers.
- The presence of trees, for example, in metropolitan areas can lessen the need for air conditioners.
- Large forests moderate regional temperatures by absorbing the sun’s radiant heat and, as a result of evapotranspiration, encourage rainfall and a cool climate.
- Forests are the largest storehouses of carbon after the oceans.
- Forest can help protect people and nature from the consequences of a warming world,
- Extreme events caused by climate change, such as more frequent wildfires, limit the ability of our forests to regenerate.
- Forests serve a vital part in purifying the air we breathe. During the day, trees and plants take carbon dioxide and release oxygen through photosynthesis.
- As a result, they contribute to the cleansing of the air we breathe.
- Also as a consequence, forests are an important tool for reducing the quantity of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere, which contribute to global warming.
Soil Conservation and Prevention of Land Degradation and Desertification
- Forests help prevent erosion and enrich and conserve soil.
- .Forests act to promote soil stability, as the complex networks of tree roots present to hold soil in place, even on steep hillsides or during heavy rainfall when soil would otherwise erode away.
- Worldwide 2.6 billion people depend directly on agriculture for their livelihoods, but 52 percent of the land used for agriculture is moderately or severely affected by soil degradation.
Water Cycle Regulator
- Forests also have a role in the natural cycle of water evaporation, condensation, and precipitation in the form of rain.
- This is made possible by forests absorbing and spreading rainwater fairly evenly across their whole geographical expanse, a process known as water economics.
- Forests also collect a significant quantity of runoff and pass it down into aquifers, replenishing groundwater supplies.
- Forests, with their diverse plant and animal life, are intimately tied to medicinal research and pharmaceutical achievements.
- A high percentage of the medications used in a variety of medical treatments are derived from forest plants and animals.
- Forests are home to a variety of amazing remedies, including cancer-fighting medications.
- Over 1.6 billion people depend on forests for food or fuel, and some 70 million people worldwide – including many Indigenous communities – call forests home.
- Forests provide us with oxygen, shelter, jobs, water, nourishment and fuel.
- Many people dependent on forests, the fate of our forests may determine our own fate as well.
- Human health is inextricably linked to forest health.
- Deforestation increases the risk of diseases crossing over from animals to humans.
- Time spent in forests has been shown to have a positive benefit on conditions including cardiovascular disease, respiratory concerns, diabetes and mental health.
- Forests provide us with enormous economic benefits.
- Plantation forests, for example, give wood and lumber to humans, which is utilized in building and as a raw material for a variety of products.
- Furthermore, when people visit forest areas to see the magnificent scenery as well as the species that inhabit the forests, the hosting nations and communities benefit financially.
- Forests also provide food and vegetables such as berries, tubers, and edible mushrooms that grow on forest floors, as well as rare animals such as wild rabbits.
- Millions of people live in forests worldwide, and many of them rely on forests for survival.
- Many people have strong cultural and spiritual ties to the forests.
- Many indigenous people understand how to sustain and use forest resources because of their long-standing connection to forests.
- For example, Sundarbans woodcutters and honey collectors have developed traditional cultural practices for customary resource use.
- They ensure that young bees are never killed.
Significance of Forest,Significance of Forest
Also Read : Tropical Dry Deciduous Forest