Unit 4: Forestry - Tropical Rainforests

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  • Tropical Rainforests
    • Exploitation of natural rainforests
      • Early exploitation - high-value products e.g. spice, rubber
      • Early exploitation = selective logging - only desired trees cut down
      • Increased mechanisation meant clear-felling is more common
      • Lower-value trees shredded (chipboard) or sawn (plywood)
    • Timber plantations
      • Reduces shortages and unsustainable exploitation
      • Features
        • Habitat loss - clear-felling to provide land
        • Monocultures - easy to plan thinning and harvesting
          • Produces low biodiversity
        • Species selection - high-value or fast-growing, often exotic to reduce pest risks (low wildlife value)
        • Selective breeding - uniform trees means similar growth rates and properties so processing is easier
    • Sustainable forestry e.g. Belize
      • Local people employed in forestry and ecotourism
      • Sustainably log selected species while protecting the rest of the forest
      • Encourage exploitation of a wide range of species - reduces pressures on single population
      • Access paths as small as possible and avoid trees
      • Limited heavy machinery use
      • Surplus timber offcuts supplied to locals
      • A tree nursery used to replant within reserves and provide saplings for locals
      • Rangers patrol areas to stop illegal logging
    • Forestry Stewardship Council - monitor timber production and credit those who practise sustainable logging


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