What is REFORESTATION? What does REFORESTATION mean? REFORESTATION meaning - REFORESTATION pronunciation - REFORESTATION definition - REFORESTATION explanation - How to pronounce REFORESTATION?
Source: Wikipedia.org article, adapted under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ license.
Reforestation is the natural or intentional restocking of existing forests and woodlands that have been depleted, usually through deforestation. Reforestation can be used to rectify or improve the quality of human life by soaking up pollution and dust from the air, rebuild natural habitats and ecosystems, mitigate global warming since forests facilitate biosequestration of atmospheric carbon dioxide, and harvest for resources, particularly timber, but also non-timber forest products.
The term reforestation is similar to afforestation, the process of restoring and recreating areas of woodlands or forests that may have existed long ago but were deforested or otherwise removed at some point in the past. Sometimes the term re-afforestation is used to distinguish between the original forest cover and the later re-growth of forest to an area. Forestation is the establishment of forest growth on areas that either had forest or lacked it.
Special tools, e.g. tree planting bars, are used to make planting of trees easier and faster.
A debated issue in managed reforestation is whether or not the succeeding forest will have the same biodiversity as the original forest. If the forest is replaced with only one species of tree and all other vegetation is prevented from growing back, a monoculture forest similar to agricultural crops would be the result. However, most reforestation involves the planting of different seedlots of seedlings taken from the area, often of multiple species. Another important factor is the natural regeneration of a wide variety of plant and animal species that can occur on a clear cut. In some areas the suppression of forest fires for hundreds of years has resulted in large single aged and single species forest stands. The logging of small clear cuts and/or prescribed burning, actually increases the biodiversity in these areas by creating a greater variety of tree stand ages and species.
Reforestation need not be only used for recovery of accidentally destroyed forests. In some countries, such as Finland, many of the forests are managed by the wood products and pulp and paper industry. In such an arrangement, like other crops, trees are planted to replace those that have been cut. In such circumstances, the industry can cut the trees in a way to allow easier reforestation. The wood products industry systematically replaces many of the trees it cuts, employing large numbers of summer workers for tree planting work. For example, in 2010, Weyerhaeuser reported planting 50 million seedlings. However replanting an old-growth forest with a plantation is not replacing the old with the same characteristics in the new.
In just 20 years, a teak plantation in Costa Rica can produce up to about 400 m3 of wood per hectare. As the natural teak forests of Asia become more scarce or difficult to obtain, the prices commanded by plantation-grown teak grows higher every year. Other species such as mahogany grow more slowly than teak in Tropical America but are also extremely valuable. Faster growers include pine, eucalyptus, and Gmelina.
Reforestation, if several indigenous species are used, can provide other benefits in addition to financial returns, including restoration of the soil, rejuvenation of local flora and fauna, and the capturing and sequestering of 38 tons of carbon dioxide per hectare per year.
The reestablishment of forests is not just simple tree planting. Forests are made up of a community of species and they build dead organic matter into soils over time. A major tree-planting program could enhance the local climate and reduce the demands of burning large amounts of fossil fuels for cooling in the summer.