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Boreal Forests

By Eric Salvesen

Causes of Environmental Problems: Climatic and Vegetative Characteristics:

Some of the environmental problems that the Boreal In the Boreal forests are large amounts of
Forests face is logging, mining, dams, the pine carbon dioxide, and their biomass is so large
beetle, and other industrial hazards. Unfortunately and so important that when they are in their
less than 8 percent of Canada's boreal forest is largest growth phase during the northern
protected. This provides the opportunity for the spring and summer, the worlds levels of carbon
logging, hydropower, petroleum and mining industries dioxide fall and the worlds levels of oxygen
continue to take advantage the southern boreal rise. The most dominant tree species are
forest and plan to move to the unallocated northern conifers which are well adapted to the harsh
regions. In the west, oil and gas development have climate, and thin acidic soils. Black and
made an ever-expanding network of roads and massive white spruce are the characteristic species of
lines into the forest. Industrial hydropower dams on the canadian region along with Tamarack, Jack
the boreal forest's northern rivers have flooded Pine and Balsam Fir. In Scandinavia and
wildlife habitat, clogged lakes with sediment and western Russia the Scots Pine is an important
killed important fish species. part of the taiga.

Plant and Animal Life: Climatic and/or Geographic Factors That

The boreal forest is full of wildlife. There are Contribute to the Environmental Problem:
more than 1.5 million lakes in the boreal forests Fire is an important disturbance factor in the
are nursery’s for 40 percent of North America. Some boreal regions. It creates the destruction of
of the migrating animals are the American black old and diseased trees, along with the pests
duck, mallard, blue-winged teal and the northern that are with those trees. Many animals are
shoveler. Exactly 30 percent of North American land able to escape natural fires and some trees
birds, including common backyard songbirds such as like the aspen and jack pine actually need
the warbler will raise their young each spring in fires to start their reproduction cycles.
Canada's boreal forest’s. The threatened woodland Also the nutrient rich ash left behind from
caribou, known as the grey ghost, depends for food fires, help fuel plant growth. The high
on old-growth boreal forests and the lichen that mineral potential in the canadian region is
took 100 years to evolve. Black bears range also a problem. Detailed concerns are the
throughout the boreal, preferring low vegetables and disposal of acidic effluent from tailings,
the large amount food provided by shrubs. Spruces containment of radioactivity and the effects
are the most common trees found in the boreal of emissions from processing plants.
forests. The conical needleleaf trees, that are
found in boreal forests are adapted to the cold and
the physiological drought of winter and to the short
growing season.
Boreal Forest
Impacts on the Living Things In Boreal Forests:
One of the things that impact my biome is logging. Political and Social Sides To The Problem:
When logging takes place it takes away the roots There are lots of environmentalists that say
which hold the soil in place and when nothing is that the forests need to be watched more
holding the soil that causes erosion, which can closely. Because a lot of the forests trees
cause water to take the soil away and create mud are disappearing because of clear cut to make
slides. Acid rain is another large impact on the paper and timber.Because these forests create
living things in the boreal forest because the acid so many jobs that the factories that people
destroys the forests. The acid chemicals from work at cause a lot of acid rain which makes
industrial plants pollute the rivers and forests and controlling pollution very difficult.
not only hurts the forests but the animal life in Because of these factors it makes saving the
the forests and the animals that drink and live in forest even more difficult.
the rivers.

Effects Over The Next 20 Years:

If what is happening to the boreal forests continues
for 20 more years then the boreal forests are going
to die out from logging and other industrial
hazards. If the boreal forest completely disappear
then we will loose one of the worlds largest carbon
dioxide consumers and oxygen producers. Therefore
if the boreal forests all disappear then there would
be a major shortage of oxygen in the world. Due to
the vast amount of oil underneath the boreal forests
will cause more logging and tearing down of the
forest but when the oil is harvested and used then
will cause even more carbon dioxide will be released
into the atmosphere but there will be less trees to
take in the carbon dioxide.