Trees are an important part of our ecosystem; they help in recycling the air in the atmosphere. We inhale oxygen and exhale carbon-dioxide gas; trees need carbon-dioxide in the process of photosynthesis. In this process, they release oxygen which is useful for non-photosynthetic plants and all complex life forms. Therefore, all heterotrophic beings that are a part of the atmospheric ecosystem rely on autotrophic plants for their source of oxygen. Besides, plants are also useful in many other ways for us. Humans have used wood and other parts of the plant in a lot of ways for many millennia. Reforestation and afforestation are the responses to the scarcity of trees. The reforestation meaning is important for biology students to learn.
Deforestation is a term used to indicate the reduction of forests due to cutting down trees at a rapid rate. Due to the growing demand of people with the exponential growth of population, there is rapid deforestation to use the land for human habitation; this has led to an increase in the levels of carbon dioxide. The gradual increase in the levels of carbon-dioxide is linked with global warming. Global warming is known to have hazardous effects like climate change which in turn can lead to the extinction of some species that form an important part of our ecosystem. Therefore, loss of such invaluable organisms can lead to ecological collapse and consequent mass extinction of life, including the extinction of human beings. Due to global warming, there are other problems too that may have a permanent and irreversible impact on Earth. Shrinkage of ice depositions at the North and South poles can increase the level of seawater and result in submergence of some amount of landmass in it. It can lead to a less landmass habitable for humans.
Due to the dwindling number of trees and consequent global warming, environmentalists have suggested that reforestation is one of the ways to curb and reverse the effects of global warming and greenhouse effects due to greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide. Reforestation means planting of trees in deforested places. Once replanting on a colossal scale is done, the plants thus can produce atmospheric oxygen by using up carbon dioxide and reducing the carbon footprint. Some environmentalists also suggest afforestation in addition to reforestation. In afforestation, trees were planted even in places where there were no earlier forests. Both reforestation and afforestation are good strategies to increase carbon capture. However, they may serve different purposes meeting the ecological needs midway with the needs of humans, meeting both.
Here are Some Ways They Can be Helpful:
(1) Habitation Without Affecting the Nature- Deforestation is only carried where the thus available land can be used for human habitation. Places, where the trees have been cut down in a high number and have been used up for living, cannot be reforested. In such a situation, the loss of the number of trees can be compensated with afforestation of a place which is not suitable for living and has less to no vegetation. The increased number of trees, thus, can help in carbon capture.
(2) Supply of Resources- Trees are one of the biggest sources of materials that we need for day-to-day activities; this is why trees are one of the most important renewable resources for the consumption of human beings. Due to deforestation, we tend to lack wood as one of the most important renewable resources. Therefore, reforestation and afforestation can help us restore the constant supply of wood and other resources from trees. Trees can be planted with the strategic importance of the variety of fruit for human consumption. Therefore, we can also get the right amount and supply of fruits with reforestation and afforestation.
(3) Perpetuation of Varieties- One of the biggest dangers of deforestation is that it may lead to the extinction of some species of trees and plants, and also animals which are either vital for human consumption or have a prominent place in the ecosystem. With deliberate planting of trees and plants, we can ensure the survival of the variety of species of plants. Also, forestation can help us raise animals which have good genetic quality, in human-made forests, for their genetic variability that is crucial for the survival of the species.
Question 1: What is the Forestation Backlog?
Answer: Due to the heavy deforestation, there has been a steep rise in the carbon footprint of the environment. Forestation can help you arrest further impact on the atmosphere; it can, however, even mitigate the impact already done. Nevertheless, forestation is looked at as controlling further damage as a primary measure; the number of trees to be planted for controlling further damage is less than the number of trees for the reversal of retrograde environmental damage. Here, forward control is the priority of forestation, and damage reversal is the backlog of forestation.
Question 2: Are Reforestation, Afforestation and Forestation Different Concepts?
Answer: Forestation, afforestation and reforestation are different terms used in response to the damage induced by greenhouse gases on the environment because of deforestation. These words are regarded as opposite to deforestation and have rather different meanings. Reforestation is planting vegetation in a deforested place. Afforestation is planting vegetation in areas that are not habitable for human beings and have less vegetation. In reforestation, the same landmass is reused, which has been used for human consumption; in afforestation, whereas, a piece of land or other regions are used for planting vegetation. Both reforestation and afforestation as processes of forest growth and are collectively known as forestation.