Forestry & Forest Ecosystems

EcoIntelligence forestry and forest ecosystems articles, speeches, and interviews.This section contains forestry and forest ecosystems articles, reports, interviews, book and anthology excerpts, PowerPoint presentations, and presentation transcripts. From construction materials to copy paper, trees are used to produce a huge range of products. Unsustainable logging practices, agriculture, and urban expansion all threaten our remaining intact forests. In turn, the watersheds vital to our water supply are damaged, soil erosion is accelerated, and critical habitat is reduced and fragmented for a large number of endangered species of animals and plants.

The preservation and expansion of forests, benefiting people and wildlife while at the same time extracting forest products to meet human needs, is accomplished through the implementation of sustainable forestry practices. Forestry and forest ecosystem topics include sustainable logging, temperate and tropical rainforest protection, wood as a biofuel, green certified wood and lumber, sustainable paper products, paper and wood recycling, forest habitat threats and ecosystem protection strategies, reforestation, restoration, and tree planting.

Big Trees Link Land To Ocean. Article by Reese Halter. Decomposition of trees represents a vital link in ensuring life for streams, rivers and oceans. In fact, the remarkable relationship between the land, its fresh waterways and tidal estuaries along the West Coast of North America depends upon a constant source of big, dead trees. Article >>

Changing Realities In Forest Sector Markets. Article by Jim L. Bowyer. It has long been the case that the world’s most developed economies consume a much larger percentage of basic raw materials than the percentage of global population collectively represented by these economies. Wood is no exception. A unique aspect of this particular raw material is that the way in which it is used differs widely between developed and developing countries. There is growing evidence that these longstanding realities are about to change in an unprecedented way. Article >>

Deep Ecology and RainForest. Article by John Seed. If we look at indigenous cultures, we notice that, without exception, rituals affirming and nurturing the sense of interconnectedness between people and nature play a central role in the lives of these societies. This suggests that the tendency for a split to develop between humans and the rest of nature must be very strong. Why else would the need for such rituals be so universally perceived? Article >>

Earth Island Journal: Mangrove Action Project. Article by Alfredo Quarto. Brazil contains the world's second largest mangrove area. Estimates suggest that over a million hectares of mangrove forest are spread along Brazil's extensive coastline. Urban expansion, oil development, the charcoal industry, roadways, and tourism have all taken their toll on large stretches of mangrove forests. Now these damaged ecosystems are facing further ruination due to shrimp aquaculture. Article >>

Fighting For Our Forests. Article by Reese Halter. The world's forests are the lifeblood of Earth, yet their future is threatened. About 10,000 years ago, 50 per cent of the Earth’s land surface was forested. Today, a little over 30 per cent is covered with forests, and a lot of that decline is due to humans. Trees and forests are the lifeblood of the planet and they are in trouble, globally, and therefore so are we. Article >>

Forest Carbon Accounting Considerations In US Bioenergy Policy. Study by Jim L. Bowyer, et al. As long as wood-producing land remains in forest, long-lived wood products and forest bioenergy reduce fossil fuel use and long-term carbon emission impacts. The increased use of forest-derived materials most likely to be used for bioenergy in the United States (would result in) low net greenhouse gas emissions, especially compared with those for fossil fuels. Article >>

Forest Facts: Finding A Good Arborist. Article by Ray Moritz. Finding a good arborist is not easy. Unless you are looking for entertainment rather than competent tree work, I wouldn’t hire someone standing at your front door with a chain saw. Arborists are a mixed bag. I know arborists with Ph.D.s in forest sciences and arborists without high school diplomas. Yet they have the same certification. There is no state licensing of arborists. Article >>

Grist Mangrove Action Project Interview. Q & A with Alfredo Quarto. The Mangrove Action Project (MAP) is dedicated to reversing the degradation of mangrove-forest ecosystems worldwide. MAP promotes the rights of local coastal peoples, including fishers and farmers, and encourages community-based, sustainable management of coastal resources. Interview >>

Managing Forests Because Carbon Matters: Integrating Energy, Products, and Land Management Policy. Study by Jim L. Bowyer, et al. The objective of reducing global greenhouse gases (GHG) requires increasing carbon storage in pools other than the atmosphere. Growing more forests and keeping forests as forests are only part of the solution, because focusing solely on the sequestration benefits of the forests misses the important (and substantial) carbon storage and substitution GHG benefits of harvested forest products. Article >>

Mangrove Campaigners Battle To Save The 'Roots Of The Sea’. Article by Alfredo Quarto. Mangroves are a cornucopia of life – a rainforest by the sea – surviving in inter-tidal zones of tropical and sub-tropical regions. Over the last 23 years, I have wound through countless waterways that cut through the tangle of mangrove roots and branches. I have watched roosting egrets and spoonbills, kingfishers and herons in the arching canopy. Article >>

The Mangrove Forest: Background Paper. Paper by Alfredo Quarto. Mangrove forests are vital for healthy coastal ecosystems. The forest detritus, consisting mainly of fallen leaves and branches from the mangroves, provides nutrients for the marine environment and supports immense varieties of sea life in intricate food webs associated directly through detritus or indirectly through the planktonic and epiphytic algal food chains. Paper >>

Most Diverse, Most Threatened. Article by Alfredo Quarto. I first stumbled upon mangrove forests and the shrimp aquaculture industry that threatened them back in 1992, visiting fishing communities in southern Thailand. I noticed a common thread of problems. Outside investors were ruining their lands and livelihoods by cutting mangroves to make way for shrimp farms, devastating their local fisheries and agriculture. One village headman spoke with deep emotion about his father who had been murdered by the shrimp mafia for opposing mangrove cutting, saying: “If there are no mangrove forests, then the sea will have no meaning. It is like having a tree with no roots, for the mangroves are the roots of the sea.” Article >>

Saving the Remaining Old Growth Redwood Forests. Article by Reese Halter. The tallest living tree on planet Earth is a coastal redwood at 379.3 feet, called Hyperion. That’s twice the size of the Statue of Liberty or the equivalent of a 38-story skyscraper. That tree was probably born at the time Jesus Christ walked the Earth. It carries well over 1 billion needles, enough to cover an entire football field. Article >>

Self Help – A Trap For The Unwary. Article by Dotty LeMieux. Imagine you wake up one morning to find the neighbor’s tree has moved closer to your house. No, it didn’t get up and walk over the property line, but that limb you’ve been concerned about has sagged in the night, and now looks really menacing as it looms over your rooftop. Is it ok to take a chain saw to it before it falls on your house? The answer is not as simple as you might think. Article >>

Sustainability And The Resource Manager Of Tomorrow. Presentation by Jim L. Bowyer. Leading the list of concerns regarding forests worldwide is the on-going specter of tropical deforestation, today estimated at about 42 million acres (17 million hectares) annually. The fact that the tropical forests house much of the world’s biodiversity accentuates this concern. Unfortunately, the rate of tropical deforestation has accelerated over the past third of a century, with a marked increase in clearing over the latter half of the period. The rate of tropical deforestation is currently estimated at 0.9% annually, compared to 0.6% just a decade ago. Article >>

Trees, Bees and Global Warming. Article by Reese Halter. It is heart-breaking that wild forests around the globe are now becoming sources of CO2 – emitting the main greenhouse, temperature-trapping gas on Earth. It’s not just the forests of the Amazon, where in 2005 drought and an extreme storm laid waste to at least 500 million trees. It is also happening in vast tracts of the US forests – the fourth largest in the world. They too are now emitting more CO2 than they are taking in. Article >>

Trees, Truffles, And Beasts: How Forests Function. Book excerpt by Chris Maser. Trees, Truffles, And Beasts is an introduction to the world of mycorrhizal fungi in forests and their importance in food webs as highlighted by truffles. It should encourage readers to investigate further the intricate and essential interactions occurring in forests. A clear and compelling argument that there's much more to forests than meets the eye. Book Excerpt >>

War Against Nature Rages: Palm Oil, Tiger Annihilation, Rise of the Eco-Warriors. Article by Reese Halter. For every one metric ton of old growth wood, trees have removed 1.5 metric tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and concurrently released one metric ton of oxygen. Trees are simply the most perfect carbon dioxide warehouses to have ever evolved on Earth. But the unscrupulous palm oil industry has been on a frenzied destructive rampage in the remaining Indonesian rainforests. A report from Greenpeace details the swift clear-cutting of the remaining Southeast Asian rainforests. Article >>

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