Forest-Related Ecosystem Services

Authored by: Sandra Luque , Louis Iverson

Routledge Handbook of Ecosystem Services

Print publication date:  January  2016
Online publication date:  January  2016

Print ISBN: 9781138025080
eBook ISBN: 9781315775302
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315775302-33

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Abstract

Forests are a crucial element not only of landscapes but also of human living conditions. Covering nearly a third of the earth’s land surface (see Box 30.1), they stabilize surface soil, prevent erosion and play an essential role in water resource management at the watershed and local levels. They regulate climate and improve air quality. At the same time they are an important resource for the regional economy (wood production, recreation and tourism) and are an important cultural and social heritage of the local and regional human activities. They provide habitats for a multitude of animal and plant species and are essential for the biological diversity in forest ecosystems over large areas.

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