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History of forests

Multicellular Life
Plants on land
Ferns, etc.
Flowering plants

4.6 byr
>3 byr
600 myr
400 myr (green algae)
200 - 70 myr
100 myr

First land plants short..<0.5 m (100 myr)
As competition for light increased, they
grew taller. Required support (trunks).
Tall forests for ~300 myr, but dramatic
changes in composition.
Only last 100 myr would look familiar.
Less than 2% of Earth history.

Forest types
Boreal Forests (conifers)
Temperate Forests
(mixed deciduous hardwoods)
Tropical Rainforests
(conifers and hardwoods)

NPP: Net Primary Productivity

What is the net annual production of organic
matter by a particular ecosystem, usually
measured in the amount of Carbon fixed as
organic matter.
Net means the total fixed minus the total
gC/km2/yr is the (net) grams of carbon fixed
over each square kilometer in an average year.

Characteristics of Earths Forests





High N
Latitudes 12 M
(50-60 N)


gC/km2/yr ersity

Immature, but
Low abundant
300 M
20-50 minerals yet
cm/yr to be released


MidModerate Rich, fertile,

Temperate Latitude 12 M 50 to 100 abundant
500 M Moderate
(30 - 50)
Poor, highly
Tropical Latitude
leached. Most
1000 M High
Rainforest (0 - 30)

area covered
by different

NPP (gC/m2/yr) for

different ecosystems


Percentage net
(gC/m2/yr) for

Tropical Rainforest are the lungs of the

world. They inhale CO2 and exhale O2
through the process of photosynthesis.

Deforestation: why we should be

Loss of biodiversity
Global warming (burning releases CO2)
Climate impacts

Deforestation and Climate

Mass deforestation of Amazon regions
could increase in the mean surface
temperature 2.5C and decrease the annual
evapo-transpiration (30% reduction),
precipitation (25% reduction), and runoff
(20% reduction) in the region

Deforestation and Climate

There has been an increase in atmospheric
concentration of CO2 of 90 ppm between the preindustrial era and year 2000. The projected range
of CO2 concentrations in 2100, under a range of
emissions scenarios developed for the IPCC, is
170-600 ppm above 2000 levels.
Complete global deforestation over the same time
frame would increase atmospheric concentrations
by about 130-290 ppm.

Deforestation and Climate

Managing forests to help control greenhouse
gases can be complicated. If the forests are
cut down again before they grow to their
optimum carbon storage potential, they
might not prove to be as helpful to counterbalance deforestation as once was thought.

How a geologist
views a tree.Key

Leaf area index

Rooting depth
capacity of the soil.

Amazonia: Estimated that 50% of the rainfall

over the Amazon Basin is recycled water.
During a rainfall event, leaves intercept rainwater,
and organic-rich soil absorbs rainfall. Leaf
evaporation and transpiration returns water vapor
to the atmosphere.
Two effects:
landward migration of rainfall
water vapor fuels more storms

Amazonian Paradox

Amazon rainforest requires heavy rainfall to

exist, but half the rainfall is itself dependent
on the rainforest being present.

Two adjacent catchments: One clear cut, the
other left forested.
Stream runoff in the deforested catchment
was 4 to 10 times the forested catchment.
Rainfall similar in the two basins, so
difference is decreased evapotranspiration.



Ivory Coast: Replacement of rainforest by cropland
over last 5 deacdes,; runoff increased 8-fold.
Areas formerly suitable for cocoa now abandoned
due to lower rainfall, less humidity and more
extreme summer temperatures.
Similar example in India where rice production fell
after rainforest removed.

Examples: Ivory Coast, India
Proving cause and effect is difficult, but first
principles provides a reasonable mechanism
to explain these observations.

Deforestation is the conversion of forested
areas to non-forest land for use such as
arable land, pasture, urban use, logged area,
or wasteland. Generally, the removal or
destruction of significant areas of forest
cover has resulted in a degraded
environment with reduced biodiversity.

Causes of Deforestation
Population Growth
It is clear now that the role of population factors in
deforestation varies considerably from one setting to
another depending on the local patterns of human
occupancy and economic activity.

Population (especially rapidly increasing or dense

population) can increase demands for land and wood,
eventually exceeding the carrying capacity of forests
that are expected to supply wood fuels , food, and
environmental protection for local people.

Causes of Deforestation
Forest disappear naturally as a result of broad climate
changes or catastrophes such as fire and landslides.

Growing populations need expanding food supplies, so
forests are cleared by shifting cultivators for annual or
permanent crops. Rates of clearing are likely to be
higher in countries where little or no progress has been
made in agricultural productivity or where land
productivity falls rapidly after the natural forest cover
is removed.

Causes of Deforestation
Commercial logging operations deplete forest stocks. Regulated
timber extraction should not permanently damage the forest, but
when it is not controlled, mechanized logging or even selective
timber harvesting may severely alter the character of the forest

Forests in developing countries provide wood fuels for local
populations. Fuelwood and charcoal are widely used for
domestic cooking and heating.

Burning and Grazing

Deforestation may occur in ways other than outright clearing or
wood removal. The practice of annual burning in many areas
prevents forest regrowth , and grazing by sheep, goats and cattle
has much the same effect.

Reasons of Deforestation

Forest Management
Forestry departments in developing countries in many cases are
not equipped to deal with deforestation and its consequences. The
principles of forest management, especially extensive forest
management for sustained yields, are unfamiliar to many
developing countries where the policy emphasis has been on
protection rather than production. Even where forest management
practices are well known, institutions for forest management are
poorly supported or nonexistent.
The problem is compounded when local people for various
reasons do not cooperate with forest management schemes. Lack
of local cooperation may be a symptom of poorly designed policy
or an indication that rural people have other development priorities

Turkey Case
In the world, the sufficient rate of forest
areas is about 30 percent for each country.
In Turkey 27,2 percent of all land is forest
areas and it is close to world aggregate
forest rate. But 49 percent of our forest is
non-productive. So, forest areas are not
sufficient for Turkey.

Deforestation in the Amazon

Effects and Responses of the
Machiguenga of Peru and the
Xavante of Brazil

The Amazon
rainforests have the
highest rate of
Its home to 60% of the
worlds remaining
tropical rainforest
In these regions
deforestation is mostly
caused by cattle
ranching and

Preventing Deforestation

Tree incentive program

Tree replacement program
This program offers an incentive in the form
of money to those who plant trees.
Many state governments have joined this

Helps shoulder the overall cost of planting
new trees.
Gives incentives to business by using the
capitalist system to replant trees after
cutting them down.

The money incentive is often not enough
money to cover the full cost of planting
This leads to mainly environmentalists or
corporations planting trees. People who
most likely would have done so at a loss

Non-Profit Organizations
There are many non profit organizations
who go about collecting money / donations
to plant trees.
Some even encourage children to buy land
in the rain forests through the schools.

There is the possibility that technology could
progress to the point to where we once again
live in a sustainable environment.
Our capitalist system dictates that
corporations will always try to corner the
market and by doing so make huge profits.

Often, for a corporation to receive such an
edge is through technology. This ensures
the progression of technology.
Technology could come to the point where
it becomes so advanced through the
capitalist system that the demand for natural
resources becomes significantly reduced.

Strict Regulations
Throughout history, we see that public
outcry has elected politicians who take to
heart what the people want rather than the
needs of the corporations.
If there is enough of a public outcry over
environmental issues, candidates and
government leaders will begin to enforce
stricter environmental regulations.

is one of the
problems that
the world is