Explaining the interdependence and importance of a forest ecosystem.
Plants have the same needs. Plants in the forest compete with one another to get enough sunlight, water and space. Plants that are best adapted to the conditions in the forest survive and reproduce their own kind. Animals also compete with one another for food, water and shelter. The animals that are best adapted to forest conditions also survive and reproduce.
Forests are important to people in many ways. Wood from forest trees provide us with lumber used for building houses and for making furniture and decorative items. Paper, cellophane, wood-plastic composites and fibers come from processing wood. Other products from wood include latex and turpentine. Some oils, gums and waxes also come from trees.
Plants in the forest continuously five off oxygen to the atmosphere. They also remove carbon dioxide from the air since they use this for photosynthesis. People and animals need oxygen to live. For as long as there are forests, the supply of oxygen will continue. For as long as there are forests, the amount of carbon dioxide will not increase to an alarming level. Too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere can make the climate warm.
Many forests serve as watersheds. A watershed is a source of water for rivers and streams. Forest soil absorbs rain water. Some of the water is used by plants. Much of the water flows underground and into rivers and streams. The water that flows underground is our source of water for home and industrial use.
Forests also help in conserving soil in preventing floods. The roots of plants soak up large amounts of rainfall. This prevents runoff of water. Runoff water can wash away soil; this is soil erosion. Erosion brings siltation of rivers, making the rivers shallow. During rainy season, shallow rivers easily overflow and cause flooding.
Forests provide homes for many plants and animals. Exotic plants and rare animals can only found in the forest. Many people go to forests to enjoy the beauty of nature. They want to see different kinds of plants and animal in their natural habitat. Some people like to sit under the trees to enjoy the peace and quiet of the surroundings.
Other people use the forest for camping and hiking activities. Some hunt for wild animals in the forest when the hunting season is open.
Forests, therefore, have six important uses:
1. They provide wood and other products that are useful to people.
2. They remove carbon dioxide from air.
3. They protect our water sources.
4. They prevent erosion and floods.
5. They protect wildlife.
6. They provide recreation.
Forests are important for their economic, environmental and enjoyment values.