Unit 4: Forestry - Forest Resources

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  • Forest Resources
    • Physical Resources
      • Food Resources
        • Coffee, cacao, bananas, pigs, chickens all originally from forests
        • Wild varieties of cultivated species may have new useful characteristics that are important in future selective breeding
      • Medicines
        • Vincristine from rosy periwinkle treats leukemia
        • Diogenin from mexican wild yam treats inflammation
        • Quinine from cinchona tree treats malaria
        • Aspirin from willow bark
      • Wood
        • Fuelwood
        • Fibres - paper from pulped wood cellulose sheets, cotton from seeds of cotton bush and rayon from chemical treatments of cellulose
        • Furniture and Tools - must be strong e.g. mahogany, oak, timber
        • Building construction - structural supporting framework for walls and infill material for floorboards and doors
          • Strong, high strength : weight ratio, requires little processing and is readily available
    • Life-Support Services
      • Regulation of the Atmosphere
        • Forests are carbon stores and wood has a long residence time for CO2
        • Carbon sequestration - growing trees take CO2 out of the air and store it in wood
        • Planting trees maintains the ozone layer and releases O2 for aerobic organisms
      • Climate Regulation
        • Low albedo of forests absorbs sunlight and stores heat in wood water
        • Evapotranspiration increases cloud cover that retains heat at night and reflects it in the day
        • Forests reduce extremes in temperature
        • Evapotranspiration increases humidity and rainfall downwind
      • Forest Microclimate - changes in abiotic factor beneath canopy layer
        • Low light levels and poor absorbing green light at floor - plants have adaptations e.g. denser chlorophyll, additional pigments
        • Low wind velocity - sheltered - animals help with seed dispersal and pollination
        • High humidity levels - amphibians survive more easily
      • Regulation of Water Cycle
        • Organic matter holds more water - increased soil moisture
        • Increased infiltration - organic matter and soil organisms improve drainage
        • Increased humidity due to low wind velocity
        • Slowed evaporation due to reduced light levels
        • Reduced runoff due to increased infiltration, interception and transpiration
        • Increased precipitation downwind
      • Soil Conservation
        • Dead vegetation contributes humus and nutrients and food for organisms that form soi
        • Trees prevent water and wind erosion
        • Trees and leaf litter reduce wind velocity and raindrop impact
        • Tree roots and humus bind soi
        • Living organisms increase ease of water infiltration and reduce runoff
      • Habitat and Wildlife Refuge
        • Large variety of niches
        • High primary productivity
        • Stratification (layers of forests) means more niches
  • Wood
    • Fuelwood
    • Fibres - paper from pulped wood cellulose sheets, cotton from seeds of cotton bush and rayon from chemical treatments of cellulose
    • Furniture and Tools - must be strong e.g. mahogany, oak, timber
    • Building construction - structural supporting framework for walls and infill material for floorboards and doors
      • Strong, high strength : weight ratio, requires little processing and is readily available

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