For over 10,000 years, man has been the greatest factor affecting biodiversity through habitat destruction and fragmentation, overexploitation and pollution. With an ever increasing population and human activities, man is consuming more and more natural resources by increasing the use of energy, fuel, and production of consumer products that are not necessarily needed. Man is very egotistic and believes that he owns everything that he has discovered; using most of the natural resources for self aggrandizement, without due considerations to the environment, ecology and other species that can only survive in their natural habitat. However, men are more inconsiderate than others about other organisms and the environment.
In some places, some work hard to make changes into their lifestyles and lessen their impact on the environment to help preserve biodiversity by recycling some of the products, planting a tree, lessening the use of pesticides on their crops, and many more eco-friendly activities. In the course of this report I will be focusing on what tree plantation is, the advantages and disadvantages of tree plantations and how tree plantations can be used for our future benefits.
What is Tree Plantations?
Tree plantation, also known as reforestation or afforestation, is a process of transplanting tree seedlings generally for forestry, land reclamation, or landscaping purposes. It involves planting seedlings over an area of land where de-forestation has taken place by human activities such as harvesting or by natural phenomenon such as erosion, fire, disease or insects. Tree planting is carried out in many different parts of the world, and strategies may differ widely across nations and regions and among individual reforestation companies since the structure of forests and their uses varies drastically around the world. There is a global campaign for tree planting and from continent to continent, it is called World Afforestation Day or Tree Planting Day set up to encourage citizens of each nations to plant trees for the overall benefit of mankind.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Tree Plantations
Tree plantations, if done correctly, can result in the successful regeneration of a deforested area. Tree planting helps biodiversity because the trees remove carbon dioxide and release oxygen into the atmosphere as they grow which improves ventilation system of the environment. Also, a higher number of tree species increases the number of ecological niches and has also been shown to increase the number of associated species such as understory plants and animals. Therefore, planting numerous tree species on a site not only conserves more trees but other organisms as well. Although the benefits of forest trees diversity in forestation are numerous, the majority of the world’s tree plantations are monocultures.
One of the reasons for this is that planting a monoculture with only one strongly bred or naturally adapted and genetically narrow variety enables the use of the best genotype of the best species. Whereas, increasing diversity inevitably requires the inclusion of inferior genotypes or species. Even if a mixed stand performs better on average for any of its components individually, it can be outperformed by a monoculture of a highly bred variety.
How can Tree Plantations be used for Future Benefits?
Tree Plantation has shown to be very effective around the home. According to various statistics, planting a tree beside your home can block frigid winter winds, which could lower your heating bills. It can also absorb greenhouse gases like nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, ozone, carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. Furthermore, it can convert carbon dioxide to oxygen through photosynthesis. In addition, the trees increase property value and add variety and natural beauty to the overall landscape of your environment. Trees plantations attract more wildlife and increasing wildlife habitat, they also improve water quality in streams and ponds, while protecting groundwater supplies, and outdoor recreational activities. All of these are bound to be of great benefits for environmental health and the global economy in the future.
Overall, tree plantations have shown to be beneficial to our community by providing us with clean air and soil. But they have also shown to have a disadvantage in our community such as the monoculture tree plantation, which can lead to plant pathogens and diseases. Although they have a disadvantage to our community, but the overall benefits indeed, outweigh the disadvantages and will be great value to mankind both now and in the future, and many generations to come ahead.