Recent research has shown that forest biodiversity is crucial to the existence of all animal species because it provides the ideal environment for breeding.
According to Jingjing Liang, a forest ecologist at Western Virginia University, all wooded areas rich in various species of trees are much more productive. Jingjing and many ecologists across the world conducted an extensive research by noticing the forest biodiversity from many places across the world, including the eastern U.S. hardwood forests, the Northwest Pacific western hemlocks, as well as the Alaskan taiga.
Jingjing further adds that during the study, he and his team managed to gather valuable data from areas in 44 countries which contained 30 million trees. More precisely, they calculated around 8,800 species of trees.
They discovered that the forest biodiversity from temperate regions led to an increase in wood productivity. Also, they found that when species were removed from a certain environment, the forest productivity declined significantly.
In other words, a loss of 10 percent caused between a 2 and 3 percent decline in productivity. By extrapolating, some believe that when an entire forest is cut, it leads to a 20 to 30 percent loss in productivity. However, Jingjing and his team discovered during their research that the real loss consisted of a staggering 66 percent.
According to Bill Laurance, James Cook University tropical ecologist, many efforts should be made in order to increase this productivity. A large array of tree species would not just enrich the forest biodiversity, but they would somehow complement each other, thus leading to other great benefits to the environment.
He also stresses that these recent findings stand as a solid proof to what many experts have long speculated. Liang’s plan used the annual increase of timber volume in order to measure wood productivity.
Based on the statistics, the value of conserving forest biodiversity ranges between $166 billion and $490 billion per year, meaning that having rich wooded areas will be to everyone’s benefit, even economical, as it turned out.
Liang and his team will continue their research as they will try to involve as many ecologists as possible into this project. By doing this, their initiative on forest biodiversity will also catch the attention of all countries which will hopefully join their efforts in preserving all wooded areas across the world.
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