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Fire, Insects, and Climate Change Can Threaten Forest Ecosystems PowerPoint Presentation
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Fire, Insects, and Climate Change Can Threaten Forest Ecosystems

Fire, Insects, and Climate Change Can Threaten Forest Ecosystems

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Fire, Insects, and Climate Change Can Threaten Forest Ecosystems

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  1. Fire, Insects, and Climate Change Can Threaten Forest Ecosystems • Surface fires • Usually burn leaf litter and undergrowth • May provide food in the form of vegetation that sprouts after fire • Help control tree diseases and insects • Crown fires • Extremely hot: burns whole trees • Kill wildlife • Increase soil erosion • Introduction of foreign diseases and insects • Accidental - hemlock woolly adelgid • Deliberate • Global warming • Rising temperatures • Trees more susceptible to diseases and pests • Drier forests: more fires • More greenhouse gases

  2. Harmful Environmental Effects of Deforestation

  3. We Have Cut Down Almost Half of the World’s Forests • Deforestation • We have reduced the earth’s original forest cover by 46% (mostly in the last 60 years) • Tropical forests (cover 6% of earth’s land) • Latin America, Indonesia, and Africa • Contains at least half of world’s species • It is estimated that ½ of remaining rainforests will be gone in 37-117 years • Boreal forests • Alaska, Canada, Scandinavia, and Russia

  4. There are other sources of pulp for making trees! • Hemp – high yield, few pesticides • Kenaf- high yield, few pesticides, fast growing annual, absorbs more CO2 than trees • Kudzu • Agricultural residues – wheat, barley, bamboo, hemp, rice straw

  5. Forests Cover 30% Of US Land Area • Forests cover more area than in 1920! • Many old-growth forests that were cleared between 1620-1920 have grown back • More wood is grown in the US than is cut, and the total area planted with trees increases • National Forest System= 155 national forests managed by the US Forest Service- USFS • BUT, much of the old-growth forests have been replaced with plantations.

  6. Tropical Forests are Disappearing Rapidly • Majority of loss since 1950 • Cover 6% of land’s surface

  7. Where Is The Loss Occurring? • Africa • SE Asia • SA • Indonesia has lost 72% of its original forest, mostly from illegal logging • Brazil- has 30% of world’s tropical rainforests, which covers 60% of Brazil. • Tropical Deforestation is the main reason that more than 8,000 known tree species are threatened with extinction

  8. Major Causes of the Destruction and Degradation of Tropical Forests

  9. Are Fires Natural in a Rainforest? • NO • Burning is used to clear forest areas • This burning produces patches of forest that dry out and readily ignite • Wide spread fires in the Amazon basin are changing weather patterns- raising temperatures, reducing rainfall • This creates droughts and more likely to burn • This is converting tropical rainforests into tropical grasslands • Accounts for 20% of CO2 human-related emissions

  10. How Should We Manage and Sustain Forests?

  11. We Can Improve the Management of Forest Fires • The Smokey Bear educational campaign • Prescribed fires- planned and monitored • Allow fires on public lands to burn • Protect structures in fire-prone areas • by thinning around • Thin forests in fire-prone areas • 2003 Healthy Forests Restoration Act • Pros-companies can cut trees, but must clear brush and fire-prone trees • Cons- not required to conduct prescribed burns after thinning process, and not

  12. Case Study: deforestation for fuel • ½ the wood harvested (3/4 in developing countries) is used for fuel • Charcoal and fuelwood made from wood are used for heating and cooking. • HAITI- only 2% of forest left, soils have eroded and crops can’t grow. • This has lead to environmental degradation, poverty, disease, social injustice, crime and violence (a failing state)

  13. How do we solve this problem? • Establish small plantations of fast-growing fuelwood trees and shrubs • Have villagers use more fuel-efficient, less-polluting wood stoves, use biogas units that run on methane, use solar ovens and electric hotplates powered by solar/wind. • Make charcoal from fibers of waste products like sugar cane which burns cleaner