Unit 4: Forestry - Deforestation

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  • Deforestation - rate of removal exceeds regrowth rate
    • Types of Deforestation
      • Mature forest degraded to young woodland then scrub woodland and then total clearance
        • Hard to estimate the rate of deforestation
      • Small clearings created - smaller forest areas created
        • Hard to estimate the rate of deforestation
      • Large scale mechanical clearance - bulldozers, chainsaws and trucks (easily measured)
    • Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY)
      • Taking groups of trees is sustainable as gaps recolonised by succession
      • Large forest clearings require active planting - natural recolonisation much slower
      • Increasing MSY using agricultural approaches
        • Fast growing species
        • Control pests predators and tree spacing
        • Selective breeding - enhance growth and quality
        • Increase nutrient supplies
      • Increasing MSY doesn't necessarily broaden environmental sustainability
    • Causes
      • Commercial logging - timber for industrial processing  and export
      • Subsistence wood use - used by locals to build houses, furniture or as fuel (LEDCs)
      • Cash crops - increased demand for good climate, large land and low cost labour
      • Subsistence farming - restricting land use may increase poverty - instead maximise the current land used
      • Urban expansion - growing urban areas near or in forests increases demand for food and fuel
      • Mineral extraction - access roads (see roads)
      • Reservoirs & HEP stations - flood large areas of valuable forests
      • Roads - make it easier to reach remote areas and exploit resources

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