Metrics

Views
675

In This Chapter

Introduction

Authored by: Kelvin S.-H. Peh , Yves Bergeron , Richard T. Corlett

Routledge Handbook of Forest Ecology

Print publication date:  October  2015
Online publication date:  October  2015

Print ISBN: 9780415735452
eBook ISBN: 9781315818290
Adobe ISBN: 9781317816447

10.4324/9781315818290.ch1

 Download Chapter

 

Abstract

Forests are stupendous systems. Since the first trees appeared on Earth in the Late Devonian, 390 million years ago, the complex three-dimensional structure of forests has supported the majority of terrestrial species on Earth and this is still true today. We ourselves evolved from a predominantly forest lineage, but the first humans occupied more open habitats and this non-forest origin is reflected in our ambiguous relationship with forests. On the one hand, this relationship until now has been largely destructive, with forests valued most as a source of land for cultivation, and for timber and bushmeat. On the other hand, on a crowded planet we increasingly value the services that forests can provide: clean water, erosion control, and the amelioration of local, regional and global climates. Forests are also important for recreation, and as sources of artistic and spiritual inspiration. Reconciling these incompatible objectives will require both a better understanding of forest ecology and a wider awareness of the multiple values of forests. We hope this book will contribute to both these aims.

 Cite
Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.