Human Impacts on Forests

Document Type:Essay

Subject Area:Other

Document 1

The assessment of forest has been based on the multiple benefits of forests which include; carbon sequestration, hydrological functions, provision of wood and non-wood products and the protection of biodiversity. Not all forests are equal and able to provide these benefits in same capacity. Conservation of forests and maintenance of good forest cover have been the agenda of most environmental conservation organizations and governments all over the world. However, human activities have been the of major impacts to forests(Bahre& Conrad, 2016, 24). There are also some natural factors that impacts the existence of forests but their relationship with human activities cannot be clearly distinct. Human population has been increasing over the decades, and as the population increase there is increased demand for land to be used in human settlement and other human activities.

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As a result people have encroached into the forest lands leading to clearing of large forest lands to create space for human activities like settlement and agricultural uses. Apart from need for land, other factors also lead to deforestation, one such factor is the demand for products of the forest like some woods. Forests hosts an array of different species of plants, some of which provide very good qualities of wood, such plants are endangered since due to the increased demand of the wood people have moved into the forests with very large and efficient machinery felling down the trees to meet their demand for wood. Such activates have lead into clearing of forests and leading to some species of plants becoming extinct or almost extinct(Goudie, Andrew& Heather, 2013, 56).

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Natural calamities such as wildfires and storm may also affect the biodiversity of the forest(Goldammer, 2013, 456). However studies have shown that human activities have largely altered the natural biodiversity of forests. Today, human activities can be considered to be the factor, most influencing the capacity of the forests to maintain their biodiversity. Activities such as large scale logging, clearing forests to obtain agricultural space, charcoal and fuel wood production, mining and hunting, harvesting of other non-timber forest products, all these activities interfere with the diversity of the forests(Goudie&Andrew, 2013, 67). Human activities have also led to changes in the climate due to atmospheric modification resulting from large scale emission of gases like carbon dioxide. This article addresses the impacts of human activities on the Arizona forests.

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It states that in spite of the fact that some changes in the forests can be attributed to natural factors, human activities played a big role in the changes that were witnessed in the forests. The changes witnessed included degradation of wetlands, increased Spread of woody plants on rangelands and spread of non-native plants among the forests and plantations. The article challenges the thought that these changes could be as a result of natural causes and proves that the changes clearly followed a pattern of human activities. It presents the techniques of identifying natural causes of vegetation changes and the anthropogenic factors. Birkhäuser, 2013. This article explores how the forests have been affected with the multiple human disturbances that they have been exposed to over the years.

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