A forest is an area with a high density of trees (or, historically, a wooded area set aside for hunting). Actually, many definitions of a forest exist . These plant communities cover large areas of the globe and function as carbon dioxide sinks, animal habitats, hydrologic flow modulators, and soil conservers, constituting one of the most important aspects of the Earth's biosphere.
Forests can be altered when logging, forest fires, acid rain, herbivores, or diseases, among other things, cause damage to trees. In the United States, most forests have historically been affected by humans to some degree, though in recent years improved forestry practices has helped regulate or moderate large scale or severe impacts. However the United States Forest Service estimates that every year about 1.5 million acres (6,000 km²) of the nation's 750 million acres (3,000,000 km²) of forestland is lost to urban sprawl and development. It is expected that the South alone will lose 20 to 25 million acres (80,000 to 100,000 km²) to development.
Pilipinas ay may 16.6 milyong ektarya ng kagubatan. Natatakpan ng kagubatan
ang 55 bahagdan ng lupain ng bansa.
Ang Pilipinas ay pangatlo sa Asya sa pagkakaroon ng malaking kagubatan. Nangunguna ang Hapon at pimapangalawa ng Indonesya.
Ang mga kayamanang nakukuha sa kagubataan ay ang iba't ibang uri ng kahoy na ginagwang troso, tabla, plywood at veneer. Malaki ang kinikita ng Pilipinas sa pagluluwas ng troso. Ang iba pang mga produkto ng gubat ay ang ratan, uling, nipa, balat ng kahoy na pangulti (tambark), dampol (tam dye), buri, buho, kawayan at dagta o resina.
Ang gubat ay nagsisilbi ring kanlungan ng mamabangis na hayop, tulad ng tamaraw, usa at baboy-damo. Dito rin nanggagaling ang iba pang hayop, tulad ng agila, mga kalapati, unggoy, at maraming uri ng ibon.
Ang Mindanao ay isang may pinakamalaking sukat ng kagubatan at may pinakamaraming bilang ng mga puno. Sumusunod sa Mindanao ang Luzon at sumusunod naman ang Bisaya at Palawan sa Luzon.
Ang Agusan at Negros Occidental ay nakilala bilang bansa sa kanilang produktong kahoy. Ang iba pang mga kilalang lalawigan sa pagtrotroso ay ang Zambalez, Davao, bataan, Agusan, Surigao, Cagayan at Quezon.
Forests are important, they give products that our economy needs. One example is the Philippine Mahogany which is recognized internationally for its quality. Forest serves as home and protection for the wild species of animals, like eagle, tarsier and the Philippine Deer. It also gives protection to the watersheds and maintain the flow of water in every place. Trees prevent floods in the low areas of the country. Forests also give livelihood, like the LEGAL logging.
But due to some human activities, it is possible that in the future, those in that generation will not be given a chance to recognize the real beauty of the real forest. Nowadays, some farmers set the forest in fire to remove the trees, grass and other plants. This process is called kaingin. You have read that forest serves as home for wild animals. If the forest are gene, where will be the animals' home??
Another is what we called ILLEGAL Logging. Due to over cutting of trees and not replacing them, then forests are left naked, without trees to see. Loggers should remember that for every tree they cut, the must replace it by planting another tree.
But not kaingin is not the only reason for loss of forest, there is this phenomena called forest fires. This is the involuntary or accidental starting of fires in the forest. This occurs when there is so hot temperature that the trees burn (in summer season) or just because someone accidentally throw lighted cigarette in the forest.
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