Portal:Forestry

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Pine forest in Sweden.jpg

A pine forest in Sweden

Forestry is the science, art, and craft of creating, managing, using, conserving, and restoring forests and associated resources to meet desired goals, needs, and values for human benefit. Forestry is practiced in plantations and natural stands. The main goal of forestry is to create and implement systems that manage forests to provide environmental supplies and services. The challenge of forestry is to create systems that are socially accepted while sustaining the resource and any other resources that might be affected.

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Forests cover approximately 9.4 percent of the Earth's surface (or 30 percent of total land area), though they once covered much more (about 50 percent of total land area), in many different regions and function as habitats for organisms, hydrologic flow modulators, and soil conservers, constituting one of the most important aspects of the biosphere. Forests are present in many biomes:

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The Daintree Rainforest near Cairns, in Queensland, Australia
Rainforests are forests characterized by high rainfall, with definitions based on a minimum normal annual rainfall of 1750-2000 mm (68-78 inches). The monsoon trough, alternatively known as the intertropical convergence zone, plays a significant role in creating the climatic conditions necessary for the Earth's tropical rainforests.

Around 40% to 75% of all biotic species are indigenous to the rainforests. It has been estimated that there may be many millions of species of plants, insects and microorganisms still undiscovered in tropical rainforests. Tropical rainforests have been called the "jewels of the Earth" and the "world's largest pharmacy", because over one quarter of natural medicines have been discovered there. Rainforests are also responsible for 28% of the world's oxygen turnover, sometimes misnamed oxygen production, processing it through photosynthesis from carbon dioxide and consuming it through respiration.

The undergrowth in some areas of a rainforest can be restricted by poor penetration of sunlight to ground level. If the leaf canopy is destroyed or thinned, the ground beneath is soon colonized by a dense, tangled growth of vines, shrubs and small trees, called a jungle[citation needed]. There are two types of rainforest, tropical rainforest and temperate rainforest.

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Heinrich Cotta
Heinrich Cotta, German silviculturist and founder of the Royal Saxon Academy of Forestry, is known as a pioneer of scientific forestry. Cotta was a pioneer of modern forestry, and was a catalyst concerning the transition from "timber production" to forestry as a scientific discipline. He was interested in all aspects of forestry, including studies involving long-term seeding, establishment of forested areas, and tree-cutting based on mathematic practices. Cotta's methodology was based on a geometric survey of the forest, where calculations of the wood mass of individual trees as well as the yield of the entire forested region were made. By way of these calculations an estimate for the monetary worth of a forest could be assessed. In 1804 Cotta was the first to suggest the concept of a "volume table", which was a chart that was introduced decades later to aid in the estimation of standing timber volume.
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