A recently burned clear-cut: not a very hospitable habitat. Photo by Maya Walters.
When a temperate forest is clear-cut, more deer begin to move into the open areas where they find food. Then the number of predators increases--coyotes, cougars, even bears. This affects the amount of food available for birds such as ravens and other scavengers. The soil which is no longer held in place by the trees washes into streams and destroys fish habitat. If the network of plants is changed, the network of animals is also disrupted.
|There is another animal besides humans which can change the forest landscape in powerful and dramatic ways. This animal is a rodent--the . Beavers build dams using trees which they cut down. The dams slow the flow of the streams, creating wetlands and ponds. The wetlands and ponds help prevent flooding and collect rich sediment and organic matter. Beavers favor certain types of trees for their dams, and eventually their less preferred types of trees dominate the forest at the edge of the stream.|
|In many areas, people try not only to change forests, but to create forests for economic reasons--tidy plantations of one tree species, all the same age. Biodiversity suffers.|
[plants] [fungi] [mammals] [birds] [insects] [reptiles] [amphibians] [fish]
[camouflage & chemical defenses] [arboreal adaptation]
[temperate forests] [soil] [water] [riparian zones] [threats to forests]
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