|Forest cover around rivers prevents excessive erosion and flooding. In some cases, however, especially in the tropics, seasonal flooding in the forest is a completely normal and essential event. These floods can be enormous, spreading many kilometers in both directions from the normal river banks. They have occurred every year, for thousands of years, and the forest and the animals that live there have evolved to take advantage of them.|
Above: A creek in a temperate forest. Note the fallen log and variety of vegetation. Photo by Maya Walters.
But in most cases, floods do not occur in a predictable pattern. Logging operations in watersheds can create floods, because when the trees are removed, mountain slopes are exposed to the sunlight. Spring snowmelt then occurs much more rapidly, and the excess water fills streams too quickly, and flooding is the result.
[seasons] [temperate forests] [tropical forests] [soil]
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