Forests are one of the most important biomes on earth. They provide a wide range of “ecosystem services,” from watershed protection and carbon absorption to renewable energy and timber production.
Important reservoirs of plant and animal biodiversity in locations ranging from China to Latin America and many places in between, forests provide key components of the environmental, social and economic well-being of societies around the world.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Yellow fever is a viral disease that is transmitted to humans...
Eastern Carpathian beech forestsLast Updated on 2014-07-08 14:27:50Primeval beech forests of the Carpathians are comprised of ten reserves are in the eastern Carpathian Mountains, five clustered in eastern Slovakia and southwestern Ukraine near the Polish border, and five in southwest Ukraine near the point the mountains pass into Romania. These forests, classified as substantially primeval by the United Nations, are situated between 47°56’12”N to 49°05’10”N and 22°11’23”E to 24°23’35”E.
1908: First Ukrainian forest Natural Reserve established in Stuzhytsia;
1920s: Several Ukrainian beech forests became Protected Areas;
1968: The Carpathian Biosphere Reserve created by Soviet Council decree 568;
1977: The Eastern Carpathian National Park established in Slovakia
1980: Karpatskiy National Park (50,303 ha)... More »
Harvard Forest DioramasLast Updated on 2014-07-07 19:04:14
In the mid-1920s, a Harvard professor and a philanthropist colleague envisioned a three-dimensional, miniature scaled exhibit depicting the land-use history, ecology, conservation and management of New England forests. Fifteen years later, their vision was realized with the completion of more than 20 magnificently detailed dioramas – miniaturized, incredibly realistic scenes showing how the New England landscape changed over three centuries as Europeans settled in the region and managed the land. Still used in teaching Harvard students, other visiting classes and for many other educational programs, this unique exhibit remains widely acclaimed and is regularly visited by scholars and other interested citizens from around the world.
In 1903, Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, hired Richard T. Fisher to establish a school of forestry at the... More »
WatershedLast Updated on 2014-07-03 15:11:40
The term watershed is used (especially in North America and Europe) to indicate an area of land from which all water falling as rain or snow would flow toward a single point. This includes both surface water flow, such as rivers, streams and creeks, and the underground movement of water. The boundaries and the area of such a watershed are determined by first specifying geographic point on land. A line is then drawn which connects all of the points of highest elevation immediately adjacent to that point. The watershed area would be the land area within those boundaries. The watershed of the Amazon River would include all of the tributaries that flow into it so it would actually contain several hundred smaller watersheds. The watershed is thus defined hydrologically, that is, by the specific river or stream. Watershed and drainage basin or catchment are used synonymously and all of... More »
Successional Soils: How edaphic conditions change within aggrading forests in a case study of the North Carolina PiedmontLast Updated on 2014-06-30 15:03:45
Soil composition—its abiotic physical and chemical properties—changes under an aggrading forest. Through "space for time studies" in the Piedmont of North Carolina, researchers have examined changes in soil composition and processes among three successional stages of old fields. Differences in nitrification rates, nutrient concentration, and acidity indicate that soil nutrient availability decreases during the course of forest succession.
The characteristics of forest change are highly interconnected with changes in soil conditions through time. A positive relationship exists between species richness and soil nutrient availability. Organisms can change the chemical composition of the soil, which in turn influences the forest composition. For example, some species of trees and other plants decrease soil pH while others increase nitrogen availability. Much... More »
Carpenter beeLast Updated on 2014-06-26 17:31:14
This hexapod (six-legged) insect is a bee in the subfamily Xylocoinae of either the genus Ceratina or Xylocopa that makes its nest in wood or plant stems.
Along with bumble bee queens, carpenter bees (genus Xylocopa) are the largest native bees in the United States. There are numerous species of carpenter bees that inhabit a broad range of ecosystems from tropical to subtropical to temperate. In the United States carpenters bees can be found across the southern United States from Arizona to Florida and in the eastern United States, north to New York.
These gentle giants get their name from their life history habits of excavating precisely rounded galleries inside wood. Using their broad, strong mandibles (jaws), they chew into dead but non-decayed limbs or trunks of standing dead trees. Some species, like the eastern Xylocopa virginica, occasionally take up residence... More »
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