Forest: Definition, Types, and Benefits

Definition of forest – Have you ever asked, what the earth looked like long ago? The plains that are spread all over the earth may still be lush with forests and so many wild animals, even the open seas are still blue and clean.

The vast wilderness along with the wild animals beneath it, is a gift to be a breath for the earth. Brings many benefits to all life around it. However, the development of a civilization cannot be denied, that humans continue to develop and utilize all natural resources.

Forests are included as an ecosystem that is widely used and cannot be avoided from extinction. Can we imagine how many trees in the forest must be willing to cut down to open up transportation routes, settlements, industrial factories and magnificent buildings in the metropolitan area?

When humans have flocked to build civilization, it feels like being at the top of the highest food chain is not enough, because in the industrial era 4.0, human needs are also getting higher. Again, nature must be given up to realize the endless modernization project. However, one thing we must not forget is that none of this will last long without natural resources.

If forests lose their power to continue to provide breath for the earth and all creatures in it, then our hard work in building technology will be in vain. Therefore, it is important for us to start being aware of and maintaining the ecosystem chain so that natural resources exist forever.

So how big is the impact of the presence of forests on the sustainability of life throughout the earth?

Definition of Forest

Forests as terrestrial ecosystems are mostly grown by trees, dominating almost the entire land surface on earth. Forest can also be defined as an area of ​​trees that are closely spaced, on a number of lands that have ecological functions and are protected by law.

About 75% of the gross primary production of the earth’s biosphere is produced from forests, which has a huge impact on the continuity of life on the entire surface of the earth. Forests also contain 80% of the plant biomass on earth. In addition, there are at least 21.9 gigatonnes of carbon as a result of primary production that tropical forests can provide annually.

There are at least five countries that contribute half of the world’s forests, such as Brazil, Canada, China, the United States and Russia. Not only that, most of the world’s forests are found mostly in tropical regions, depending on the temperate and subtropical boreal climate domains.

 

Differences in ecosystem areas in all forest areas also affect the condition of forest ecosystems. Thus, almost half of the forest area has intact areas, the rest have several areas with low fragments or no connectivity.

At different latitudes, altitudes, rainfall and evapontration, the forest has different conditions. So do not be surprised if each forest has different biome conditions depending on the type of forest.

Boreal forests in the Arctic region, tropical moist forests and tropical dry forests located around the Equator, and temperate forests around the mid-latitudes.

If the forest is at a higher elevation, it will usually tend to have similarities with forests at high latitudes. Rainfall in the forest will later affect the composition of the forest as well.

For humans, the forest is one of the important ecosystems and a place where they depend on all their necessities of life. As with other living things, both animals and plants themselves, the forest is also their natural habitat where everyone depends on their life there.

Forest Types in Indonesia

Indonesia itself is a country that has many types of forests. Indonesia’s diverse natural ecosystems also influence the formation of several types of forests. The following are the types of forests located throughout Indonesia.

Based on Climate

Indonesia is one of the countries that is right on the equator which is an area with a tropical climate. The location of the Indonesian archipelago which is between two continents and two oceans also has an influence on the climate, giving rise to areas with very wet, wet and rather dry climates.

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This also ultimately affects the condition of forests in Indonesia and creates the following types of forests:

1. Peat Forest

Peat forest is one of the tropical forests that mostly has broad-leaved plants. Peat forests are usually located around waters which are also surrounded by rain forests and mangrove forests in brackish water. This peat forest is considered effective for absorbing carbon in the air, so it can clean it. In addition, we will also find a lot of peat forests in the Kalimantan area.

2. Tropical Rain Forest

Most tropical rainforests have a climate that is wet to very wet. Tropical rain forest areas are found in Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Sumatra, North Maluku, and also Papua.

The highest canopy layer found in this tropical rain forest is Dipterocarpaceae , followed by the lower layer consisting of the families Lauraceae, Myrtaceae, and Myristicaceae.

3. Monsoon Forest

Unlike most forests in Indonesia, monsoon forests are forests with a rather dry climate. We can find this type of monsoon forest in Central Java, Yogyakarta, Bali, East Java, the southeastern region of Maluku, NTB, parts of NTT, and also Irian Jaya.

Most of the trees found in this monsoon forest are teak (Tectona grandis), eucalyptus (Eucalyptus alba), sandalwood (Santalum album), walikukun (Actinophora fragrans), and eucalyptus (Melaleuca leucadendron).

Based on Soil Properties

According to the type of soil, Indonesia also has a forest ecosystem that is different from the wilderness in general. This type of forest has its own functions and benefits that appear naturally around Indonesian waters.

1. Mangrove Forest

There are at least around 776,000 ha of mangrove forests scattered throughout the north coast of Java Island, the east coast of Sumatra, Kalimantan, and the south coast of Papua. Most mangrove forests have tree species from Sonneratia, Avicennia, and Rhizophora.

2. Beach Forest

Coastal forest is a tree ecosystem that usually appears around non-sandy, non-sloping beach areas. For example, in several types of beaches on the south coast of Java, some of them have beaches that are not sloping and tend to be overgrown with coastal forest. Usually, in this coastal forest we find sea pine, ketapang, hibiscus, and pandanus.

3. Swamp Forest

In the area around Kalimantan, the islands of Sumatra, and also Papua, the most abundant swamp forest is found. In many waters around swamp forests, it is easiest to find several types of swamp trees, such as kempas (Koompassia spp), nyatoh (Palawuium leiocarpum), and ramin (Gonystylus spp).

By Type Arrangement

Basically, forests are also divided into two types, in which forest type groups are formed based on the types of plants and trees that are there.

1. Homogeneous Forest

Homogeneous forest is also referred to as a similar forest where most of the trees in it are of the same type. The type referred to here is not the same tree or from the same genus, but the way it develops.

Either by developing itself without human assistance or with human assistance. For example, homogeneous forests such as pine or tusam forests are forests that can develop well in certain areas without human assistance. Therefore, it is likely that other types of trees tend not to be found there.

There are also forests that can develop with human assistance, such as an artificial type of forest that is deliberately planted for special needs. An example is Industrial Plantation Forest (HTI).

2. Heterogeneous Forest

In contrast to homogeneous forests, mixed or heterogeneous forests are forest ecosystems that have far more diverse types of trees and plants. This heterogeneous forest has various genera of trees that form a group of trees.

The types of trees in this forest are also influenced by climate and ecosystem conditions, so that sometimes even in heterogeneous forests there are species and physical similarities of one tree to another. For example, heterogeneous forests that mostly have broadleaf trees, or needles (coniferous forests).

If we classify forest types based on many aspects, of course we will find various other types of forests that may exist in other countries. Like boreal forests in the Arctic region, or other types of forests that you don’t know about. For this reason, studying forest science can also be something that is always interesting to keep learning about.

Sinaumed’s, you can learn about other forest types or the beauty of flora and fauna in the forest through the book below, you know.

Forest Benefits

Forest as a natural ecosystem that provides many natural resources, certainly brings many good benefits to every life on earth. Not only humans, even animals and plants themselves also mutually produce a symbiotic system of mutualism that benefits one another.

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1. Produces Oxygen for Breathing

The trees in the forest undergo a process of photosynthesis which will produce clean oxygen for all living things to breathe. With the forest as an ecosystem group, it will provide more oxygen into the air, so that humans, animals and other living things can breathe clean oxygen.

One mature tree can produce enough oxygen for 2 to 10 days. Therefore, this is why forests are the very important lungs of the world and should not be destroyed.

2. Clean the Air

Have you ever wondered why areas with more trees feel cooler? This is because during the process of photosynthesis trees also need carbon dioxide, to produce new, clean oxygen. So that around the green area will tend to be colder and cooler because there is not much carbon dioxide emission.

The leaves on the trees in the forest are also able to absorb carbon dioxide and various other pollutants. A big tree alone can help clean the air around it, moreover forests are able to clean the air on an even larger scale, cooling the earth and reducing global warming.

3. Against Floods and Landslides

Forest ecosystems are also the best water catchment areas. So that areas that have forests will be much less likely to be flooded than other areas that do not have water absorption.

The strong tree roots in the forest help keep out the rain even in high water discharges. So forests not only help against flooding, but also reduce the possibility of landslides.

4. Storing groundwater

The soil that is under the forest has a very large absorption capacity, so all the water that falls to the ground, be it rainwater or dew and other water will absorb into the ground. All the water that flows to the roots of the trees will be stored in the soil, so that it can be reused by trees and other living things on it.

5. Produce Food for All Living Things

As a fairly complex ecosystem, forests are not only naturally beneficial as the largest oxygen supplier. However, the many varieties of plants and trees in the forest are also capable of producing food for its inhabitants.

Starting from fruits from various types of trees, seeds, mushrooms and leaves which are the staple food for animals, even humans. Not only food, in the forest it is also possible for you to find various medicinal plants that can cure diseases.

6. Meet Human Needs

For humans themselves, the presence of forests actually has a very significant impact. If in the past the forest was a place for humans to take shelter from the wind, rain, so that they could create homes and build civilizations.

So, at this time forests are also still producing building materials such as wood, which are then used for various things, recycling them also enables humans to produce paper, textiles and so on.

Forests are naturally also a place for many plants that are suitable for human consumption, and make it easier for us to find animals for hunting materials. Currently, perhaps the presence of forests also makes it easier for humans to find food for their livestock.

Conclusion

Sinaumed’s, you certainly want to have a healthy life until tomorrow when our children and grandchildren are adults. In fact, it is not enough to achieve health with a healthy lifestyle and exercise alone, there are environmental factors that must be equally maintained for our own survival.

If reducing the use of technology that can have a negative impact on nature is felt to have not produced significant results. So the only way is to increase the number of oxygen suppliers to clean the air again so we can breathe properly.

For example by planting trees and plants, increasing green areas, and reducing the use of materials that are not environmentally friendly. As the saying goes, little by little will become a hill. Make small changes together, love nature, for a healthy and prosperous life in the future.

Thus the discussion about the benefits of forests and their types. Hopefully all the discussion above adds to your insight.

If you want to find books about forests, then you can get them at sinaumedia.com . To support Sinaumed’s in adding insight, sinaumedia always provides quality and original books so that Sinaumed’s has #MoreWithReading information.

Author: Inca