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CyberDodo and the Forests (1-9)

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It is common to call forests « the lungs of our planet ». As such, how can we possibly explain our terrifying destruction of them without any regard for future generations ?

First of all, what are forests ?

There are numerous definitions that vary according to climate and continent, but something that they all have in common is that they are communities of plants involving multiple species trees, bushes, plants, etc, which together with various species of animals, form a unique ecosystem.

How much of the earth's surface do they cover ?

Forests cover approximately one third of the earth's total land area, or, at the beginning of the 21st cenury, between 4 to 6 billion hectares a number that is constantly decreasing.

What is the difference between « primary forests » and « secondary forests » ?

The future of biodiversity is intrinsically linked to this question. Primary forests are those which Nature alone has created, without human intervention of any kind, such as the Amazon. They cover less than 10% of the world's land area.

Secondary forests are those which humankind has planted or otherwise intervened in to such a degree that the ecosystem has been profoundly modified.


What is the purpose of forests ?

The answer is manifold, given forests' numerous functions, in particular :

Reservoir of biodiversity
Our primary forests are the main reservoir of biodiversity on land, given that they are the home of between half and three fourths of all living species.

Carbon sinks
During these times of global warming and the terrible yet completely predictable consequences thereof, forests, along with peat bogs, represent one of the most important carbon dioxide sinks. As they grow, they absorb enormous quantities of CO2, a phenomenon that both the ground and the canopy of the forest, each made up of millions of organisms that, equally contribute to.

However, there is a phenomenon linked to global warming which appears to be able to decrease the capacity of tropical forests to capture CO2: the observed increase of dry spells which quite simply prevent them from exercising their role as carbon sinks ! Processes of global warming acclerate even more .

It should be noted that forests composed of slow growth species, such as those containing oak, are able to absorb more CO2 than rapid growth trees, which are more common to secondary forests.

Oxygen production
Where does the oxygen we breathe come from ? Thanks to photosynthesis, it is forests that produce the majority of the precious oxygen that animal and human life needs to survive.

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  • We must stop destroy forests

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