Why are rainforests so important

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Why are rainforests so important

Park extent of the coastal temperate rainforests - from Inforai Storms and clouds from the Pacific crash into the towering mountains lining the coast. Icefields grow from their peaks, sending glacial fingers back down towards the sea.

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Beneath the mountains, copious rains and year-round mists soak the land. In the rains grow towering evergreens - enormous cedars, spruce, firs, and hemlocks - draped in a blanket of dripping moss. Though tropical rainforests will win for diversity of species, the temperate rainforests beat them out for sheer size.

These forests were once home to some of the largest concentrations of biomass on the planet. Some of them still are. Temperate rainforests are a rare thing on the earth, even without logging - thin lines of green on a world map.

A coastal temperate rainforest occupies a necessarily narrow strip of land between an ocean and a mountain range. The ocean must be near to moderate the climate, and the mountains must be near to catch the rain. Coastal temperate rainforests are cool and wet year round, without ever getting too cold.

Less than one fifth of one percent of the world's land was ever temperate rainforest, and the largest of them was here on the Pacific Coast, stretching from Northern California.

For much of our route, the forest exists in a complicated landscape of islands and fjords, and many species depend on both the forest and the ocean. Salmon are one of the primary species of the rainforest, spawning in the forest streams, and fertilizing the land. The marbled murrelet nests in old growth trees at night, but feeds in the ocean during the day.

In sheer mass of living and decaying material - trees, mosses, shrubs, and soil - these forests are more massive than any other ecosystem on the planet.

In part, this is due to the rarity of fire. Unlike drier forests, which burn periodically, temperate rainforests are naturally subject to only small-scale disturbances, such as blow-downs and avalanches. This rainforest spans a wide range of latitude - from about 40 degrees north to about 60 degrees north.

The differences in climate from south to north create several major forest zones, characterized by different species.

Our journey starts in Seattle - in Washington's Puget Sound, in the middle of the "seasonal rain forest zone". The major tree species here are douglas fir, western red cedar, sitka spruce, and western hemlock. Beyond the northern end of Vancouver Island, we pass into the "perhumid rainforest zone".

Douglas fir wanes as a dominant species, and the forest is primarily made up of western red cedar, sitka spruce, and western hemlock.

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The Gulf of Alaska begins where the fjords of southeast Alaska end, and marks the transition into "sub-polar rainforest". Here the forest occupies only a very narrow strip between the ocean and the icy alpine zone.

The cedar trees no longer thrive in this harsher climate, and the dominant trees are limited to sitka spruce, and western and mountain hemlock. Wildlife Many of the most iconic photos of these forests include a large bear somewhere in the frame. Grizzly bears and black bears once thrived throughout the rainforest zone and beyond.SOILS and NUTRIENT CYCLING IN THE RAINFOREST Understanding the basic composition of forest soils helps explain the concept of nutrient cycling in the rainforest; why there are problems with clearing rainforest lands for agriculture; and how soils are an important factor influencing forest complexity.

Rainforests are extremely important in the ecology of the Earth. The plants of the rain forest generate much of the Earth's oxygen. These plants are also very important to people in other ways.

WHY? is our attempt to answer all the questions every little kid asks. Do you have a question? Send it to [email protected] Did you know there are about languages in the world today? That. Why Rainforests? Why are we concerned about rainforests?

They are the most biologically diverse and ecologically complex terrestrial ecosystems on Earth. They are the pinnacle of evolution.


At their peak — the Emerald Era — rainforests covered the whole of the Australian continent. Aug 31,  · The current article you are reading does not reflect the views of the current editors and contributors of the new Ecorazzi. Ecorazzi’s Rainforest Editorial Series is brought to you by Hello Green Tomorrow, the Avon Product Inc.

campaign to plant a future and help end deforestation.. The great rainforests once covered some 14% of the planet. Wetlands are important features in the landscape that provide numerous beneficial services for people and for fish and wildlife.

Some of these services, or functions, include protecting and improving water quality, providing fish and wildlife habitats, storing floodwaters .

Why are rainforests so important
Why are Wetlands Important? | Wetlands Protection and Restoration | US EPA