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Reforestation

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Virre, Mar 23, 2011.

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  1. Virre

    Virre Level IV

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    So after doing an artwork on problems with human versus natural selection, I figured I could use the debate corner to gain more knowledge on this issue.

    The enviromental problems are a hotter topic than ever, and one of the things that are done to keep our delicate eco system at balance is reforrestation, such as the reforestation programmes for the rainforrests. But I started to wonder about if this was actually a good strategy or if it was potentially dangerous. Are we to eager in our attempts to correct the mistakes we have done?

    The problem with the rain forrests have developed over a very long period. Some of the focus lies on replanting trees in order to keep carbon dioxide levels down and prevent soil erosion. This however, is often done with exotic and fast-growing trees, which in turn changes the soil's original characteristics. The conditions for microbal and animal life are also changed by the introduction of these exotic plants.

    The other problem at hand is the genetics of reforrestation. When there is human selection rather than natural selection, we are changing and speeding up the evolution by chosing what we feel are the best suitable for the situation. Is this really the way to go? Can we be sure that we are getting the "right genes" and may we be overlooking some that might have a positive effect (now or in the future) on not only the enviroment but also things as diseases?

    I wanted to open up this topic for discssusion as I belive to little research has been put into it.
     
  2. AOWPIE

    AOWPIE Level I

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    Hopefully we will soon be able to private paper like products without the need of trees and we can regrow the forests.

    This shouldnt be too difficult if the big name corporations put their minds to it. If anyone keeps up on business yesterday Pepsi announced the invention of the first fully biodegrable bottle that is made from purely table scraps (such as potato skins orange peels and food) to be used on all their bottled products.
     
  3. Commy

    Commy Moderator
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    Which countries have reforestation programs that use exotic flora? I know this sort of thing used to be a big problem for Australia in the past, say in the early to mid 1900s. I did a research project involving a south african plant known as boneseed that was used here to control soil erosion, but outperformed our own native flora with the help of our seasonal bush fires. Having spoken to the park rangers in Victoria and taking part in some of the replanting, the focus is definitely to get rid of exotic flora as much as possible at least in our regional and national parks. The problem is the plants are prolific, and are called weeds for a reason: they're so bloody hard to get rid of.

    A few decades ago we learned our lesson with the exotic plants, and started to revegetate areas with fast growing natives. It's only more recently that this isn't necessarily the best way to go either. One plant or tree, although native, isn't always the best to use in all areas of Australia as it can also damage 'indigenous' flora: flora that originated from a particular area. The people who choose what to plant are being more careful now. When we're replanting a certain area, we're not only careful to use native plants, we're using indigenous plants and trees. That involves people collecting seeds and cut offs from known indigenous plants in the area, and cultivating them in green houses. Once they're ready, others then plant them in that same area. Using this method, this ensures that we're using plants most suitable for that area. It is a more expensive and time consuming process though, and isn't as effective as we may like if there are already pest plants in the area.
    It's hard to know every single plant that can be of use to us. Perhaps not in terms of reforestation, but by selecting what to plant in our farms and gardens, it has changed evolution somewhat. You could say plants such as corn have evolved very successfully, to the extent that we grow millions of them. Their survival is pretty much guaranteed.
    As for other plants that may be of use, back in uni I read an article that shows that there is research being done on the possible benefits of certain plants. Kenyan traditional healers will point out certain flora to scientists, who will then look into the benefits the plants may have.
    This site describes the situation:
    http://www.scidev.net/en/features/turni ... kenya.html
    However, you aren't going to test every little plant. Research takes time and money. There isn't enough resources at hand to investigate every little thing, particularly when there is a long list of possibly beneficial plants.
    There's more interest in this area than one may think. As for revegetation of rainforests using exotic plants, it's sad to hear that other countries aren't advanced in their botanical studies to know that it isn't a good thing.
     
  4. dawgi100

    dawgi100 Level I

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    SAVE THE TREES!
     
  5. nichjg

    nichjg Newbie

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    we should just leave everything alone and let nature take its corse without adding anything man grown.
     
  6. Junior

    Junior Administrator
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    I come from a land down under! (Maaaate!)
    Just so you understand why this is closed - this is an old thread, not posted in at all this year, and thus no longer requires any further posts. If the creator wanted more advice I'm sure they would have posted regular bumps. I appreciate you're trying to gain activity, however for a small one lined response without any research to support opinions, its a pointless one.
     
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