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Chapter 9

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Geography 2153A/B
Jamie Baxter

Chapter 9 Notes 12/19/2013 7:08:00 AM More than 330 communities and 864000 people are directly and indirectly supported economically by Canada’s forests  Forest products are the biggest net contributor to Canada’s visible trade balance, to a considerable degree defining Canada’s global economic role Global Distribution  About 40% of the Earth’s land surface supports trees or shrub cover o Forests occupy about 4 billion hectares of the world’s land area  Forests may be classified as temperate, boreal, or tropical Tropical Forests: Degradation and Deforestation  Tropical forests provide habitat for over one-half of the Earth’s plant and animal species, and the homes and livelihoods for about 100 million people  Deforestation: To clear an area of forests or trees usually for lumber or agricultural uses o Brazil had the distinction of being the leader in forest lost o Many factors cause deforestation including clearing land for crops or livestock, providing wood, and building infrastructure Forests and Forestry in Canada  Forests cover approximately 46% of Canada’s lade base o The boreal forest covers 1/3 of Canada, constituting Canada’s largest biome  Unlike most nations, the vast majority of Canada’s forests are publically owned  Forest products continue to be one of the largest contributors to Canada’s balance of trade o Canada’s forest products exports were valued at approximately $40 billion Harvesting Systems  Clear Cutting o The dominant method of harvesting in Canada o Tiber companies prefer clear-cutting because it is normally the most cost-effective way to harvest trees  It is also the safest system for loggers o It is typically defended as the most ecologically appropriate form of logging as it mimics natural disturbances o Replanting after clear cutting is difficult o Highgrading: The practice of focusing first on the most accessible, high quality forests, leaving less accessible, lower quality areas for later harvest  Yields short term economic returns, but has long term ecological consequences o Continuous clear cutting, the practice of cutting blocks located adjacent to each other in successive years has been banned o Clear cutting results in microclimates, removal of habitat, soil degradation, damaged water habitats and destruction of diversity After clear cutting, firms engage in some form of silviculture or managed forestry  The practice of controlling the establishment, composition, growth and quality of forests.  Includes planting and seeding, site rehabilitation, spacing, and fertilization The Timber Bias  The timber bias prevalent in our use of forests has resulted in a number of ecological, economic and sociocultural impacts visible on the landscape and in communities o Early timber industry barons viewed forests as a limitless timer supply  Sustained Yield Forest Management o Timber should be cut no faster than new trees can grow so that an even flow of timber in perpetuity may be obtained o If yield is to be maintained, all the trees cut down should be replaced each year with new trees that are allowed to mature to a size comparable to the original tree on site before they are logged  The average annual accumulation of wood volume peaks before the old growth stage o Volume peaks before quality  High grading o Focus first on the most accessible high quality trees o Once those are taken, less accessible lower quality trees taken  “take the best and leave the rest” (refers also to mining, fishing) o Constantly reduces the quality of forest The Life Cycle in the Old-Growth Forest  Large, old living trees are virtual forest communities in themselves  Within a dying tree, the processes of matter recycling and energy flows, along with the roles of producers, consumers, and decomposers become apparent o A Fallen tree is literally the soil for future generations of forest  Managed forest and young forests simply do not provide the diversity of habitat options available in old growth forests Carbon Storage  Old Growth forests are the planet’s most important land based storage systems for carbon o Huge amounts of carbon are stored in branches, trunks, roots, fall trees and soil organic matter o The older the tree, the more carbon it can store  Old Growth forests are immensely important in regulating Earth’s carbon dioxide levels Keys to Diversity  The keys to diversity in an old
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