It seems the world is still not listening clearly enough to the reasons forests are important. All forests – rainforest, evergreen forests, deciduous forests, bamboo forests, swamp forests, and jungles – are all vital to the health of our planet, yet we don’t pay them enough respect. Why? Because of the multitudinous reasons forests are important!
Thing such as vanilla are notoriously difficult to grow in areas that do not have perfect conditions, but there are some rainforest products that are beyond difficult to grow elsewhere. Thing such as Brazil nuts are very difficult to grow elsewhere without spending literally thousands of dollars per month to keep the conditions perfect. Plus, even if you built a structure that copied the conditions exactly, it can take between 12 and 15 years for a tree to start producing nuts. Life on this planet will change dramatically if we do not keep our rainforests, but if you are still looking for reasons forests are important then consider the fact it will give you less choice in the supermarket.
Forests help to stop water running off and gathering up, and they absorb the water so that flooding is less likely to happen. The amount they absorb is a huge amount because they use the water to push nutrients up to their leaves, which means they are pumping water at a very high rate.
This is one of the big reasons why we should look after our forests, especially if you know your American history. Trees were removed, and the land of the Southwestern Great Plains turned into a dust bowl where farming and living became impossible. There are parts of America that would have made great places to live if it were not for logging and deforestation.
This is one of the lesser-known reasons forests are important, and it is that they allow swift evolution (still over thousands of years), especially in rainforests. One species becomes a threat, and it is often the rainforest that comes up with a solution. That is why throughout history there have been a few creatures leave the rainforest to find their homes elsewhere. In some cases it has been seen where a place experiences a problem “creature” and the rainforest spits out a predator to control it.
This is why farming on old dumpsites is not allowed. It is very good however, because toxins that would normally leach into our drinking water are soaked up and contained by trees. They are also good at absorbing things that other plants cannot handle, such as excessive amounts of salt in the ground. One plant or tree will often make the ground more suitable so that other plants may arrive.
They do stop a lot of greenhouse gasses from getting to the upper atmosphere in the first place (which is good), but during hurricanes, the greenhouse gas is dragged from the atmosphere and the trees and plants are given another shot at absorbing it. Plants and trees are not going to fix global warming whilst we are still pumping greenhouse gas into the atmosphere from our cars and power plants, but they are the ones that would fix the damage if we all decided to stop tomorrow.
This may seem like a bad thing, but large countries would only ever have rain around the edges if it were not for trees. They draw water from deep underground where we cannot get to it, and a process called transpiration pushes it out of their leaves and into the atmosphere so it can rain and fill our rivers and reservoirs. Think of them as rain cloud producers so that we get rain inland, otherwise the outside edges would be flooded and the middle part of your country would be desert.
There is more feces hanging around than we care to think about, but it is trees and the wildlife that surrounds trees that helps to break it down. Without trees and shrubs then the world would have to deal with mold a lot more than it does now. It would be a very mold-filled world if trees and plants did not exist, especially if the animals, creatures, bacteria and microbes that live around trees did not exist also.
This will help to stop dust bowls as well as protect other plants, animals and even parts of the earth from eroding away.
The fact that so many species are being destroyed forever is reason enough why we should look after our forests.
There are lots of medicines that we use today that are based on plant life and animal life. Even everyday aspirin was derived from a tree. And beyond drugs and medicines, a huge number of products come from forests.
New threats to our health will continue to arise as they have always done. Something that seems like nothing in the forest right now may be the cure for something in the future. This is one of the big reasons forests are important. There are still lots of cures and medicines in the rainforest that we have not discovered yet, and we will not discover them if the rainforest is cut down.
There is a life cycle to most things on the planet. In simple terms it starts with a bit of detritus (animal or plant waste) that is broken down by microbes into nutrients, which feeds weeds, then plants, then animals, then shrubs, right up to trees which is where the cycle finds stability. Without trees there is no stability and plants and animals cannot establish a permanent home.
Their roots are like sponges, and they keep the water in one place so that the tree can absorb it. This means that other plants and animals can live. It also stops it evaporating as quickly and running off into the sea as quickly. The world would have a lot more deserts if it were not for trees.
Part of the problem with global warming is that the sun’s rays are trapped in our atmosphere and are bouncing back and forwards whilst releasing the heat they contain. These rays and heat are absorbed by trees.
This is a proven theory that shows that if man did not interfere, then the world would be a more hospitable place. It is called the Gaia hypothesis and it shows that trees and plants will react to the world and the sun to create a world that is more hospitable for life.
Many plants do this, which is why you should not eat berries that you pick from bushes next to main roads. They can catch toxins from the air and keep them away from other animals and humans.
Yes, this is far down the list because you probably already know this. The carbon dioxide level has increased in the atmosphere over the last 50 years because so much of the forest has disappeared.
If all rainforests were to disappear tomorrow, then there would be a lot of (let’s say expected) consequences, but one you may not expect is the fact that the price of latex would shoot up astronomically. It can be bled from trees in the rainforest without damaging (too much) the trees. To grow them elsewhere is very expensive, slow and unproductive. And that’s just one example.
Are you convinced of the reasons forests are important? Do you think we should be better at looking after this precious resource?
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