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The importance of the forests

THE FOREST ~ THE TREASURE AROUND US

An old Indian proverb says:

"Just after the last tree has been cut down,

Just after the last riverhas been poisoned,

Just after the last fish has been caught,

Just then, would you realize, that money can’t be eaten"

This is the way a nation addresses, by the voice of the wise, to mankind.Exhortation to temperance, the need to protect what nature has given us is vital,because the forest is: breathable air, water, even in the desert, breezenot storms and hurricanes, biodiversity.

At the end of the nineteenth century, 80% of the area of our country was covered by forests. Currently, there are only 26%. Thus, Romania is below the European average andunder the ecological value allowed. Remakable are also the statements of M. Drăcea: "You can buy wood,but not the forest!”and " For a country’s forests to thrive, they need first of all the heat and dew of the human heart(ap. SILVICULTORUL, 1987, COSTEA, 1979).

Forests, also called "green gold" or "earthlungs" are the most precious treasure of economy. Forest fulfillsseveral functions:

Geochemical: Helpscirculation of chemical elements in nature. Due to the green pigment called chlorophyllby the process ofphotosynthesis, it provides oxygen (about 2 / 3 of the oxygen consumed by humans, animals, microorganisms, industry, agriculture, is taken from the atmosphere, provided by trees and shrubs) and absorbs the carbon dioxide (which is stored in the wood along with other chemical elements taken from the ground). In the leaf,
through the process of photosynthesis, the solar energy is captured and transformed into chemically stored energy.

Anti-erosion function: Tree roots fix the soil, especially on slopes, reducing thelandslides and collapse,preventing soil degradation by salting or marshes.


Pedo-genetic: It contributes to soil formation: rockshredding (mechanical action of roots), altered rocks (chemical action), training and ensuring fertility humus (the organic matter intake).

Hydrological function: 40-50% of foliagetrees retain rainfall,tree roots help the soil that can hold a larger quantity of water, forest preserveshigh levels of soil water and groundwater quality (water abstraction, wellsare in woodedareas ) reducethe risk of flooding



Climatic Function: Depending on tree species,height and density of their forest regime forests moderate temperatures (in summer, the forest is about 2degrees cooler thanoutside, and in the winter the temperature is 1.7 degrees higherinside the forest than outside) because of the intense processes inside the forest it is created a stream of moist airascending, which increasescloudiness, rainfall distribution changes and it also increases local humidity,reduces the wind speed, keeps snow longer: it reducesthe amount of radiation that has reached the ground becauseit absorbs it in the process of photosynthesis.




Biological / green function: It constitutes sources of biodiversity. It allows the species perpetuation and preservation of genetic fund. Many species of plants andanimals have disappeared due to deforestation orbecause of fire. Forests provide shelter and food sources. It allowspreservation of natural environments, here are formedthe most numerous and complex food chains (Example: fruits and seeds - mouse- fox and hawk; foliage - the tree-lice ladybug.



Anti-pollutant Function: In the process of photosynthesis, 1 ha of forest absorbsannually about 16 tons of CO2 and produces 30 tons of O2. Trees retaindust and other gaseous pollutants (sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, lead compounds) from industryor transport. Onlyfires affect millions of forests each year about 12-13 ha, the atmosphere bringing huge amountsof CO, CO2 andtar.

Education / Scientific: Forest ecosystems, especially secular forests / virgin forestshave the quality to adapt to environmental change inthe long run, by correctsizing and structuringtheir functions: complex and long food chains, renewalcomponent populations, flexibility .Valuable genetic fundallows the establishment of protected areas, promoting the protection of species of rare plants and animals, threatened or endangered.For future generations, centuries-old forests andvirgin forests from Romania are a historical witnessof what once were forests of the temperate zone.




Aesthetic / Landscape and Recreational: Forests break the monotony of the landscape. Degraded lands, due tomining, storage of waste, land affected by erosionare rehabilitated through afforestation programs. In temperate regions, depending on the season, forests provide an ever-changing landscape. Their colors, quietness, the unpolluted air, the landscape attracts tourists for so many reasons.

Socio-economic: Forest offers many renewable resources that are exploitedsustainably: mushrooms, berries, herbs. Timber harvesting and utilities to the printing,construction and furniture, imposed the need to recycle. For example, one edition of the newspaper "Le Monde" required 160acres of spruce forest. The forest has also a historical significance, becoming importantfor people, but also cultural, there are literary and musical works many linked to it.

NATURAL FORESTS VERSUS MADE FORESTS

Europe is the continent most affected by human activities. However, due to its predominant locationin the temperate climate, the forest is still considered the most important component of the landscape. An indicator of the vitality of the forest is that its biotope is shelter for the largest number of vertebrates (mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians) on the continent.

Changes suffered by forestsin the last centuries (the extension, composition) led to the extinction of many species andendangering the existence of others. This is especially true for species in the trophic pyramid -large carnivores and birds of prey. Currentlythe percentage of forest species considered endangeredis 20-50% for mammals and 15-40% for poultry. The situation is nearly as dramatic for species oflichens, mosses and vascular plants.

Article 10 of the Convention on Biological Diversity encourages the sustainable use of biodiversity components. In the case of forests, such use willbe provided in the form of environmentally sustainable forests. The definition of "sustainable forest management” has evolved over the time with the needs of society. Regulations on thebalance between wood production and harvesting can still be found in1667, in an "order "given by Colbert during the reign of Louis XIV. The first documented mentionof the word, "sustainability" in relation to forest occurred in the 18th century. In1713, in the Germanmining town of Freiberg, local authorities haveasked the mining industry workers to comply "sustainable annual timberproduction".

In terms of sustainable development, this means, the management and exploitation of forests and forest land so asto maintain biodiversity, productivity, regeneration capacity, vitality and their potential to meet both present and futureimportant ecological functions, economic and social at local, national and global levels and not to damage other ecosystems"(definition adopted at the Helsinki Conference / 1993/,, resolution H1").

Grădiştea Muncelului Cioclovina Nature Park is classified as Natura 2000 siteon the legislative basis of Directives 79/409/EC("Birds Directive") and 92/43/EEC ("HabitatsDirective”). According to the Habitats Directive, Natura 2000 network has the purpose to establish a "favorable conservation status” for habitatsand species considered to be of interest. The concept of "favorable conservation status" of theforest habitat is defined in Article 1 of the Habitats Directive depending on species population dynamics, trends in the spread of species and habitats.

Thus, forestsites are not clearedon large scale, do not change as land use, do notreplace native species of trees with other exotic species, there are no forest management activities, these are allowed to evolve in a natural way.