Wednesday, December 19 2018
Deforestation and Watershed Lab
An ecosystem is the region, in which many living organisms coexist and interact with each other as well as with the abiotic factors in the environment. Most ecosystems typically consist of both plants and animals.
A watershed, also referred to as a drainage basin, or catchment is an area of land that captures and channels precipitation as well as snowmelt into creeks, streams and rivers, eventually outflowing to spots such as reservoirs, bays as well as the ocean. The size of the watershed can be defined on several scales, commonly referred to as the watersheds Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUC)- constructed from the geography that is most pertinent to its specific area. A watershed can be small, similar to a modest inland lake or single county. Many watersheds can encompass thousands of square miles and can even contain streams, lakes, rivers and reservoirs as well as underlying groundwater (hundreds of miles of inland). Furthermore, as the water flows, often time sit can gather pollutants, which can result in having alarming effects on the ecology of the watershed as well as on the overall reservoir, bay, or ocean where it may end up. Snowmelt and rainfall from watersheds can end up travelling via multiple routes to the sea. For the duration of heavy snow and rainfall, water might run onto and off pf certain impervious surfaces in particular parking lots, roads, buildings and any other structures, when the water has no alternative place to go. These surfaces act as effective “fast lanes” that can transport the water instantly into storm drains. Any excess water volume can rapidly overwhelm these streams and rivers, which can then cause the bodies of water to overflow, ultimately resulting in floods. Deforestation is the process of a forest being cut down or destroyed. Causes for deforestation can include, but aren’t limited to tree forest fires, tree cutting as well as other natural disasters. When deforestation occurs, results can be loss of habitat for many animals.
Clear cutting, arguably the most common method of timber harvest, is the process of cutting down each and every high-grade tree, from a selected area. Many foresting companies prefer clear cutting to other methods of timber harvest because of its relatively cheaper cost and the fact that it is the most effective and efficient way to harvest the timber. Clear cutting is considered the most efficient way of timber harvest because it is common knowledge that it is much easier to move logs and equipment from an area that is bare, rather than from an area that is among numerous standing trees. Furthermore, clear cutting also enables forest operators to get the most out of a forest for the lowest, possible cost. Clear cutting is the primary method extraction for roughly 88% of Ontario’s forest operators. However, not many people know that the primary focus of clear cutting is to...