|There is still much we don't know about forest ecosystems but each day is leading to new discoveries. Each animal, insect and plant contains its individual genetic material that has been evolving for thousands of years. Protecting the forests does not just mean saving a lot of trees, it is preserving a process of life that started billions of years ago. Ancient forests bring a better understanding of how forests work.||
All life forms, including the cup fungi shown here, depend on the forest, either directly or indirectly. Photo by Maya Walters.
|Many scientists and foresters have been working on ways to grow trees over repeated "rotations" for timber use. But their management strategies have gone awry. In Germany, "Waldsterben" (forest death), caused by pollution and bad forest management, has prevented the forests from being able to regrow, destroying the ecosystems. This tragedy has also occurred in Australia. Some ancient forests, however, are still alive and are excellent examples of long-term forests. The more we study these forests, the more we can learn about forest ecology.|
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