SUST 100 Lecture 2: SUST 100 - Land Use and Degradation

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SUST 100
Matthew Nelson

SUST 100: Land Use and Degradation Describing the Land  Biomes: assemblage of plants, animals, and other organisms that occupy a region. o Defined by their climate and dominant vegetation  Forests (tropical, temperate, and boreal)  Grasslands (cold and warm)  Okanagan is a semi-aired grassland  Deserts (cold and warm)  Antarctica or Savanna  Mountains Forests  Age o Old growth o Second-growth  Grown naturally following some disturbance (fire, diseases, etc.)  Ecosystem / economic services o Provide these for humans o Forestry is necessary – argument cannot be total conservation  Need trees but need to use them in an economic way o Ecological (Ecosystem) Services: provide chemical cycling, habitat of wildlife, erosion control, and carbons storage. o Economic Services: provide paper, tourism, etc.  Types o Tropical o Temperate o Boreal / Taiga  Colder forests  Difference between forest and tree farms Changing Ecosystems  Disturbance o Can be large scale or small scale  Succession: change in assemblage of species or ecosystems over time. o Primary  Initial colonizers in new areas  No soil – bare rock exposed (e.g. lava rock)  E.g. when a glacier recedes  See changes in the assemblages of species over time o Secondary  Initial colonizers after disturbance  Disturbances can help to renew a forest or grassland  New assemblages of species Secondary Succession  Soil already present  Usual stages o Annual plants o Perennial herbaceous plants o Shrubs o Softwood trees (like pines) o Hardwood trees  Pioneer Community  Climax Community Deforestation  Land degradation o Deforestation, desertification, etc.  Deforestation: changing of a land area from a forest to not a forest (loss of a forest). o Deforestation doesn’t necessarily mean logging o Over the past 8000 years, almost 50% of forests have been cleared (mostly since 1950) o Problems:  Loss of biodiversity  Accelerates climate change  Alters surrounding ecosystem (e.g. contributing to desertification)  Logging o Selective cutting  Low impact in terms of sustainability but more expensive 2  Not
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