Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 25

DEFORESTATION

Design by Joe Naumann


Unit XI. Deforestation and the role of
forests in the climate system.
A. History of forests
Earth 4.6 byr
Life >3 byr
Multicellular Life 600 myr
Plants on land 400 myr
(green algae)
Ferns, etc. 200 - 70 myr
Flowering plants 100 myr
(Angiosperrms)
Unit XI. Deforestation and the role of
forests in the climate system.
A. History of forests
• First land plants short…..<0.5 m (100
myr)
• As competition for light increased,
they grew taller. Required support
(trunks).
• Tall forests for ~300 myr, but
dramatic changes in composition.
• Only last 100 myr would look
familiar.
Unit XI. Deforestation and the role of
forests in the climate system.
B. Forest types
• Boreal Forests (conifers)
• Temperate Forests
(mixed deciduous hardwoods)
• Tropical Rainforests
(conifers and hardwoods)
NPP: Net Primary Productivity

What is the net annual production of


organic matter by a particular
ecosystem,usually measured in the
amount of Carbon fixed as organic
matter.
Net means the total fixed minus the
total respired.

gC/km2/yr is the (net) grams of carbon


fixed over each square kilometer in an
average year.
Characteristics of Earth's Forests
Forest Where? Area Rainfall NPP Biodiv-
Soi
Type (km2)
l gC/km2/yrersity
Immature, but
High N Low abundant
Boreal Latitudes12 M 300 M Low
20-50 minerals yet
(50-60 °N) cm/yr to be released

Mid- ModerateRich, fertile,


TemperateLatitude 12 M 50 to 100abundant 500 M Moderate
(30° - 50°) cm/yr nutrient
reserves
Low Poor, highly
Tropical Latitude High
leached. Most
Rainforest(0 - 30°) 17 M 2 to 10 1000 M High
nutrients
m/yr
recycles
Unit XI. Deforestation and the role of
forests in the climate system.
B. Forest types
• Boreal Forests: slow growing, cold,
1/2 year low light, shallow,
immature, but mineral-rich soils.
Low plant and animal diversity.
Capable of sustained harvest, but
low yield (slow growth)
Unit XI. Deforestation and the role of
forests in the climate system.
B. Forest types
• Temperature Forests: Mixed
deciduous hardwoods and
evergreens, fertile soils. Resistent to
disturbance: if cleared, rapid
recolonization.
Sustained yield OK in most regions.
Unit XI. Deforestation and the role of
forests in the climate system.
B. Forest types
• Tropical Rainforest: Closed canopy,
high rainfall. Most in Brazil
(Amazonia), central West Africa
(Congo, Zaire), Indonesia and
Madigascar. Also Central America,
Angola, Peru, Bolivia, India and
scattered outliers.
Percentage
area
covered by
different
ecosystems
NPP
(gC/m2/yr) for
different
ecosystems
70%

3%
Percentage
net NPP
(gC/m2/yr)
for different
ecosystems
Unit XI. Deforestation and the role of
forests in the climate system.
B. Forest types
• Tropical Rainforest are the lungs
of the world. They inhale CO2 and
exhale O2 through the process of
photosynthesis.
Unit XI. Deforestation and the role of
forests in the climate system.
B. Forest types
• Tropical Rainforest: The risky
bit…..
Soils: Ancient, little rock, highly
leached (high rainfall), and few
sources of new nutrients. Almost
all nutrients are recycled.
Incapable of sustained high
harvest.
Unit XI. Deforestation and the role of
forests in the climate system.
C. Deforestation: why we should be
concerned.

• Loss of biodiversity
• Global warming (burning releases
CO2)
• Climate impacts
Unit XI. Deforestation and the role of
forests in the climate system.
D. The role of forests in the climate
system.
How a geologist
views a
tree.…Key
variables:

Leaf area index

Rooting depth

Water-holding
capacity of the
soil.
D. The role of forests in the climate
system.
Amazonia: Estimated that 50% of the
rainfall over the Amazon Basin is recycled
water.

During a rainfall event, leaves intercept


rainwater, and organic-rich soil absorbs
rainfall. Leaf evaporation and
transpiration returns water vapor to the
atmosphere.
Two effects:
• landward migration of rainfall
• water vapor fuels more storms
D. The role of forests in the climate
system.
Amazonian Paradox:

Amazon rainforest requires heavy


rainfall to exist, but half the rainfall is
itself depedent on the rainforest being
present.
D. The role of forests in the climate
system.
Examples:

Two adjacent catchments…. One clear


cut, the other left forested. Stream
runoff in the deforested catchment
was 4 to 10 times the forested
catchment. Rainfall similar in the two
basins, so difference is decreased
evapotranspiration.
Forested Deforested
D. The role of forests in the climate system.
Examples:

Ivory Coast: Replacement of rainforest by


cropland over last 5 deacdes,; runoff
increased 8-fold.
Areas formerly suitable for cocoa now
abandoned due to lower rainfall, less
humidity and more extreme summer
temperatures.

Similar example in India where rice


production fell after rainforest removed.
D. The role of forests in the climate
system.
Examples:Ivory Coast, India

Proving cause and effect is difficult,


but first principles provides a
reasonable mechanism to explain
these observations.