Environment – Influence of Forests on Environment. Influence of Environment on Forests.

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WHAT IS ENVIRONMENT?

1.     An environment is derived from the French word “Environ” which means surrounding and “ment” means action. i.e.
The surrounding in which organisms lives.
2.     The environment includes anything that may influence an organism in a direct or indirect way.
o   DEFINITIONS
1.     An environment is the total of things or circumstances around organisms including human beings. (Dr. Raman Siva Kumar).
2.     An environment is defined as all things that influence living organisms about which is not an integral part of the organism. (Shard sing Negi/ S.S. Negi).
3.     The physical, chemical and biological condition surrounding an organism. (Eng. Col. Mumtaz Hussain)
4.     The human environment includes the biotic, Abiotic and social factors.
5.     An environment is a complex of factors which may be:
§  Substances such as soil water
§  Force such as wind and gravity
§  Conditions such as temperature and sunlight
§  Living organisms like plants, animals, and man. (OOSTING 1948)
6.     Ecologically the environment is the sum of all external conditions and influence affecting the life and development of organisms. (Rizvi 1948)


o   TYPES OF ENVIRONMENT

Two fundamentals types:
1.     The Abiotic or physical environment e.g. Air, Water, Land (Soil).
2.     The biotic or biological environment e.g. Flora, Fauna, Micro-organisms.

§  THE PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT

Subdivided into three broad categories:
1.     Lithosphere (sphere of rocks/ soil)
2.     Hydrosphere (sphere of water)
3.     Atmosphere (Spere of gas)
4.     The biological/ Biotic environment subdivided into:
a)  Floral/ Plant environment
b)  Fauna/ Animal environment
c)  Microbial environment

§  MICRO-CLIMATE

·       This is the local combination of the atmosphere factors.
·       Not only are regional differences in temperature, moisture and also horizontal and vertical differences.
·       These differences may be created by the influence of factor say topography, a shade of plants, a frequency of occurrence of fires etc.
·       Within each is embraced by the general climate there exists an intricate matrix of micro-climate.
·       Organisms occupying the same general climate may actually be living under very different conditions.

§  MACRO-CLIMATE/ CLIMATE

·       It is the combination of all the atmosphere factors influencing certain region e.g.
1.  Climate of Peshawar
2.  Climate of Sindh
3.  Climate of Balochistan
4.  Climate of Punjab
5.  Climate of KPK
6.  Climate of N.A.
7.  Climate of A.J.K.

§  MICRO-CLIMATE/ BIOCLIMATE

·       It is the local combination of the atmosphere factors. e.g.
1.  Climate of P.F.I. Peshawar
2.  Climate of Sibi
3.  Climate of Ziarat Village
4.  Climate of Changa Manga
5.  Climate of Abbottabad, Hunza
6.  Climate of Kotli.


o   FACTORS CONSTITUTING THE ENVIRONMENT COMPLEX OR (ECOLOGICAL FACTORS)

·       Any external force, substance or condition affecting the organism in any way is reflected to as environmental factors.
·       Environment is a complex of many factors that interact not only with organisms but also among themselves.
·       Environmental factors though usually complex may be classified into the following broad headings:
1.  Climatic Factors
2.  Water Factors
3.  Topographic Factors
4.  Edaphic Factors
5.  Biotic Factors.
·       Another method of classifying factors is to make about eight coordinating headings:
1. Light
2.  Temperature
3.  Soil
4.  Water
5.  Atmosphere
6.  Topography
7.  Biota
8.  Fire.

o   THE ENVIRONMENTAL COMPLEX

·       The factors never operate separately or constantly upon the organism, and the environmental relation is at one, complicated and dynamic. This constitutes the environmental complex.
·       The main phenomenon responsible for the complexity are:
1.  Ecological versus non-ecological behaviorism.
2.  Multiplicity of factors
3.  Heterogeneity of environment
4.  Dynamic nature of the environment
5.  Variability of plant requirements
6.  Factors interaction.
·       The behaviors may not always be related to the present environment and sometimes may even lie largely outside the realm of ecology.

o   MICRO-ENVIRONMENT

·       Micro-environment is a relative term and it always with respect to the organism at a particular time and space.
·       It influences not only the micro-climate i.e. the local combination of atmospheric factors but also the combination of the local effects of other environmental factors e.g.
§  The biotic factors
§  The adaphic Factors.
·       Thus the micro-environment is the local combination of all the environmental actors, the immediate environmental areas occupied by an organism.
·       The most influential factors in micro-organism variation are Light, Temperature, Humidity, and Wind.
·       The difference in nature if rocks and soil will affect the first two fo these factors through soil itself.
·       Physiographic features cause a lot of changes in the micro-environment.

o   EXAMPLES OF MICRO-ENVIRONMENT

1.     Micro-environment of chir pine forest/ stand signifies the immediate environmental area occupied by the stand/forest.
2.     Animals living above the snow e.g arctic fox or caribou (N.A. American Reindeer) would be subjected to low-temperature arctic Hare.
3.     Whereas animals living under the snow would virtually be living in a more hotter zone e.g. Voles (Mice) is quite active in two inches air space between the snow and soil.
§  The Arctic fox, Hare, Mice are able to survive in a region of very cold winter climate because of the favorable microenvironment.
4.      Patt and Wolf in 1950.
§  An Oakleaf of Oaktree was oriented with the upper side facing the sun.
§  The temperature of the upper side was determined at frequent intervals over a five-minute interval by Thermistor provide leaf surface temperature of 1010 C.
§  Within the five minute due to slide shading and air movement a variation of 100 to 150 C occurred several times.


o   INFLUENCE OF THE ENVIRONMENT ON FORESTS

·       Environment comprising of four main categories of factors viz. Climatic, Edaphic, Biotic and Topographic has a tremendous influence upon vegetation comprising the forest.
·       The influence is, however, reciprocal because the changed vegetation also produces its effects on the environments.
·       The main influences of environments upon forests are as follows:-
1.     Maximum water and maximum temperature collectively produce a luxuriant type of vegetation which is aptly called RAIN FORESTS which is present on the equatorial belt.
2.     Less availability of water and high temperature produces THORN FOREST e.g. Punjab and Sindh.
3.     Right winds, heavy snowfall on hills produces stunted, bent and dwarfed trees.
4.     The coastal site produces a special type of vegetation called mangrove forests.
5.     Biotic factors (socio-economic conditions of an area) have a great effect upon forests and their management.
6.     The character of vegetation may totally change even by a single factor e.g. Light, Fire, Temperature, Man.
7.     In the hills, the distribution of the conifers, notably Deodar in the North-West, in relation to the amount of winter snowfall and the strength of the South-West monsoon, provides an equally instructive illustration. It grows as a pure crop on steep slopes which are outside the Range of Monsoon Rains.
8.     The classification of Forests into different types is mainly based on climatic elements of precipitation and temperature and their seasonal variation.
9.     The climate also influences the suitability or otherwise of an Exotic species for a particular site as well as forestry operations.
10.   Successful planting of tree crops in any locality is concerned, is dependent on moisture available in the soil.
11.   The productivity of the climax vegetation on a site depends on the maximum sustained utilization of the environmental resources.
12.   A longer growing season will increase forest productivity in the presence of a higher concentration of carbon dioxide (co2) in the atmosphere which will reduce Frost tolerance of the trees.
13.   High temperature and carbon dioxide concentration would also enhance the activities of insect herbivores and plant pathogens.
14.   The environment comprising of four main categories of factors viz. Climatic, Edaphic, Biotic and Topographic has a tremendous influence upon vegetation comprising the forest.
15.   The influence is, however, reciprocal because the changed vegetation also produces its effects on the environments.
16.   The main influences of environments upon forests are as follows:-
1.  Maximum water and maximum temperature collectively produce a luxuriant type of vegetation which is aptly called RAIN FORESTS which is present on the equatorial belt.
2.  Less availability of water and high temperature produces THORN FOREST e.g. Punjab and Sindh.
3.  Depending upon the mean Annual Rainfall (M.A.R.) the type of vegetation evenly distributed as:
 

S. No
M.A.R
Type of Vegetation
i.
0 – 10″
Desert
ii.
10″ –  30″
Grasslands, Savana, open woodland
iii.
30″ – 50″
Dry Forests
iv.
50″ and above
Wet Forests
4.  Right winds, heavy snowfall on hills produces stunted, bent and dwarfed trees.
5.  The coastal site produces a special type of vegetation called mangrove forests.
6.  Biotic factors (Socio-economic conditions of an area) have great feel upon forests and their management.
7.  The character of vegetation may totally change even by a single factor e.g. Temperature, Light, Fire, and Man.
8.  Distribution Forest in Pakistan is primarily governed by the CLIMATIC and EDAPHIC factors and it is amply reflected in the diversity of forest types available in the country. Natural forests of coniferous and broad-leaved starting from Alpine scrub in the Northern Himalayas ending with Mangrove Forests in the shallow waters of the Arabian Sea in the South. Abroad categories would be as under:-
S. No
Forest Type
1.
Alpine Scrub
2.
Sub-Alpine Forests
3.
Himalayas Dry Temperate Forests
4.
Himalayas Moist Temperate Forests
5.
Sub-Tropical Pine Forests
6.
Dry Sub-Tropical Broadleaved Forests
7.
Topical Dry Deciduous Forests
8.
Tropical Thorn Forests
9.
Riverain Forests
10.
Tropical Littoral and swamp FORESTS (Mangrove Forests)
11.
Irrigated Forests

o   ECOLOGICAL SIGNIFICANCE OF FORESTS

                                        OR

o   INFLUENCE OF FOREST ON ENVIRONMENT

1.       Forests are an important Natural Resource which plays several important roles in nature.
2.       It is a storehouse of biological diversity.
3.       It is the most important natural habitat for wildlife.
4.       Forest is a large flora and fauna.
5.       It maintains ecological balance and biological diversity, acts as the catchment for soil and water, and provides food, fuel, fodder, fiber, shelter and timber to man.
6.       It supports industrial and commercial activities and provides job opportunities to a large number of people.
7.       It maintains life support system essential for food production, health, and all-around human development.
8.       Forest is the best site of Recreation, Mediation, peace and it provides Aesthetic sense.
9.       It conserves water and soil moisture.
10.     Development and conservation of forests will improve the living standard of local people and tribals.
11.     Forest control Air and Noise pollution to a great extent.
12.     Forest prevents landslides in the hills and flood havoc in plains.
13.     It is the harbor of genetic resources.
14.     Green plans of the forests are primary producers of the food chains.
15.     In Forest Ecosystem, they trap solar energy and transform Co2 absorbed from the air and water and nutrients absorbed from soil into food substances as starch, sugar & protein through the process of photosynthesis.
16.     Food materials are stored in the different parts of plants such as fruits, nuts, legumes, seed and wood in various forms.
17.     Thus forest acts as energy hence by taking energy from the sunlight and converting that into potential or biochemical form.
18.     Forest plays a significant role in keeping the balance of atmospheric gasses by consuming CO2 and releasing O2 oxygen is essential for living organisms. Thus the removal of the forest will disturb the composition of Natural Air.
19.     In Forests, the roots of the trees bind the soil and increase the porosity and water absorbing capacity of the soil.
20.     About 90 percent of the water falling on the forests is retained in the hummus or in plant tissue.
21.     The forest plays a major role in the water cycle or Hydrological cycle.
22.     It maintains Soil fertility, Regulates Earth’s Temperature, checks soil erosion, Landslides, shifting of sand and flood. Thus it helps in the improvement of the environment.
23.     It is estimated that by SEQUESTERING Co2, the forest could reduce global warming by 10 percent.
24.     A hectare of trees can remove about 32.5 tons of dust and gases every year from the surrounding environment.
25.     Forests affect the climate system from local up to regional and continental scale by influencing ground temperatures, evaporation, surface roughness, albedo, cloud formation and precipitation.
26.     Sequestering Co2 from the atmosphere and their consequent contribution to reducing “GREENHOUSE EFFECT” or Global Warming.
27.     Forests influence the climate in many ways. They increase evaporation spiran Reduce climatic extremes (Cold/Hot, Wet/Dry) slow horizontal movement of air and vertical exchange processes.
28.     In low mountains, forests can protect the farms below from cold air masses while regulating the water supply at the same time.
29.     Forests have a tempering effect during hot periods.
30.     Controlling Atmospheric Pollution, since the large internal surface area of the leaves act masses while filter, extracting contamination from the air.
31.     As a result of dry deposition of pollutants, the forest contains twenty times as many particles as aerosols as open sites.
32.     Forest and forest soil store 20 to 100 times more carbon per hectare than pasture and croplands do.
33.     When the forests are destroyed or degraded carbon store in their biomass is released into the atmosphere in the form of Co2, which contributes to increasing greenhouse effect and global warming.
34.     Neem leaves have the highest dust retention capacity and their growth near cement plants and stone crushing sites could minimize atmospheric pollution and associated health hazard (India Research).
35.     In forests, carbon dioxides are constantly being assimilated by photosynthesis and released by the dead biomass.
36.     The ecological effect was observed in one of the studies in China: (Benefits of Windbreaks shelterbelts).
          i.        Increasing the yield of wheat by 6 – 15%.
          ii.        Reducing the wind speed to 50 – 70%.
          iii.       Keeping more soil mixture by more than 20% of the open yield.
          iv.       Reducing the forest damage of wheat by 30 – 50%.
          v.       Increasing the weight of grain by 2 – 3 gms per grain.
37.     PFI Research in Goragali Rate of Erosion in:-
          (a)      Bare soil                 =        70%
          (b)      Dagraded cover      =        24%
          (c)      Good grass cover    =        5%

 

          (d)      Dense forests          =        1%
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2 thoughts on “Environment – Influence of Forests on Environment. Influence of Environment on Forests.

  • November 28, 2018 at 12:06 am
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    Good material

    Reply
    • November 29, 2018 at 6:02 pm
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      Thanks 🙂

      Reply

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