lesson 17 - Key Terms and Concepts Biogeography Importance...

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Key Terms and Concepts - Biogeography - Importance of forests - Leaf types - Leaf fall tree types - Limiting factors of forests - Biome classes - Distribution of forest biomes - Forest Biomes - Boreal Forest - Midlatitude, temperate forest - Tropical deciduous forest - Equatorial and tropical rain forest - Biodiversity - Human use of forests - Deforestation – What, How, Why, Where - Frontier forests - Deforestation in the Tropics - Deforestation in Michigan - Problems of deforestation Introduction to Global Deforestation So far in this course we have discussed people-environment interactions that involve the landscape as a whole; the soil, groundwater resources, and river systems. This lesson is dedicated to exploring the interaction people have with forests around the world. Ultimately, our discussion focuses on the issue of deforestation and how people have impacted forests at the global scale. This lesson will begin with an introduction to forest biogeography,which will help to explain what forests are, why they are important, and reasons for their global distribution. Next we will describe and discuss the world’s forest biomes, their distribution, and dominant tree species. Lastly, we will take a detailed look at deforestation from many different angles. You may find it surprising to learn that deforestation is not limited to the tropical regions of the world and that the causes and effects of such a practice are varied. Deforestation is undoubtedly a global problem, the impacts of which affect not only the physical landscape, but society as a whole. A side note: If you are interested in learning more about some of the issues we will discuss in this lesson, you may want to read: - "Breakfast of Biodiversity: Slicing Up the Rainforest in Your Morning Cereal" by John Vandermeer and Ivette Perfecto - "The Diversity of Life" and "The Future of Life" by E.O. Wilson
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A forest scene from the Pacific Northwest. "Every year around the world, forests four times the size of Switzerland are lost because of clearing and degradation; this has a significant impact on the global environment and economy." Forest biogeography An introduction Before we can begin to understand deforestation and its widespread repercussions, we must first develop an awareness of the world's forests. So rather than jump right into deforestation, let's take a little time to explore the biogeography of world forests; this includes looking at the biotic i and abiotic - components of forests that help to dictate global forest distributions. You see, it may be useful for us to know where the world's forests are located, why they are located where they are, and what makes forest vegetation different from other major world vegetation types, before we talk about why deforestation is such an important issue.
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