CHAPTER 2 - FOREST BASICS
Edition 6, July, 2007

TABLE OF CONTENTS

(2-A) - Sustainable Yield - [A1] Global, [A2] Asian Sub-Continent, [A3] Australia, [A4] Canada, [A5] Developed Countries, [A6]~ Europe, [A7] Africa, [A8] Russia, [A9] Southeast Asia, [A10] Tropical Forests, [A11] US-Eastern, [A12] US-Western, [A13]~ Plantations, [A14] Hybrid- and Genetically-Modified Trees,
(2-B) - Forest Biomass - [B1] Global, [B2] Tropical Forest Biomass, [B3] Temperate Forest Biomass, [B4] Biomass Partitioning,
(2-C) - Effects of Diseases, Insects, Pollution, Grazing - [C1] Insects and Disease; [C2] Pollution;
[C3]~Cattle Grazing,
(2-D) - Aridity- and Climate-Related Issues - [D1] History of Climate, [D2] Precipitation Limits to Tree Survival, [D3] Savanna/ Forest Interface, [D4] Altitude Limits, [D5] Desertification,
(2-E) - Forest Fires and Wind Damage - [E1] Global, [E2] Tropical Forests, [E3] Temperate/ Boreal Forests,
(2-F) -
Reforestation - [F1] Plantations, [F2] Africa, [F3] Canada, [F4] British Isles, [F5] Far East, [F6] South America, [F7]~ Southeast Asia, [F8] Asian Sub-Continent, [F9] Europe, [F10] US, [F11] USSR (former) ,
(2-G) - Side Effects of Deforestation - [G1] Erosion/ degradation of Croplands, [G2] Siltation of Dam-backwaters and Irrigation Systems, [G3]~ Water Quality Degradation, [G4] Reduced Rainfall, [G5] Floods and Landslides, [G6] Collapse of Civilization, [G7]~ Desertification,
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SECTION (2-A) - Sustainable Yield - [A1] Global, [A2] Asian Sub-Continent, [A3] Australia, [A4] Canada , [A5] Developed Countries, [A6] Europe, [A7] Africa, [A8] Russia, [A9] Southeast Asia, [A10] Tropical Forests, [A11] US-Eastern, [A12]~ US-Western, [A13] Plantations, [A14] Hybrid- and Genetically-Modified Trees,

[A1] - Sustainable Yield - Global -

Several developments around the world over the last decade have focused on achieving sustainable forest management (SFM). SFM balances environmental, socio-cultural and economic objectives of management in accordance with the Forest Principles agreed at UNCED in 1992. The SFM concept has stimulated changes in forest policy and legislation in many countries. One indicator of political commitment to the concept of sustainable forest management is the number of countries (149) currently involved in international initiatives to develop and implement criteria and indicators for sustainable forest management. On the ground, changes are occurring in management objectives and practices, and in the involvement of partners in planning and managing forests. FRA 2000 results from industrialized countries (accounting for 45% of the total forest area in the world, most of it in the temperate and boreal zone) indicated that 88.7% of these forests are being managed according to a formal or informal management plan (01F1). Comments: This seems vague and glib. It neglects rampant illegal logging and the views of numerous experts who say that only a very small fraction (less than 1%) of tropical forests are managed sustainably.

Above-ground growth of the world's forest is estimated to be 13 billion tonnes/ year (79S4). Comments: This figure is probably growing stock plus branches, twigs, etc. and is assumed to be green wood, not dried wood, since estimates of growth of "growing stock" are far less than this figure. Comments: 13 billion tonnes/ year, if it is assumed to be 38% coniferous (Density = 0.56 tonnes/ m3 (91M1)) and 62% hardwood (Density = 0.64 tonnes/ m3 (91M1)), translates to a volume growth rate of 21.4 billion m3/ year.

Hagler estimates that the world's 20.7 million km2 of "available" forests can support a sustainable long-term harvest of 3.7 billion m3 (under bark) of fuelwood and industrial fibers (38% coniferous and 62% hardwood) (Hagler, 1995, in (96N1)). Comments: Hagler's estimate of the "closed forest" area of the world is 38 million km2. (See Section (3-A).) (la)

Availability of Industrial Roundwood (million m3 under bark / year??)) from a review of technical literature (20 sources) (96N1)
- - - - - -| 1993(2) - -| - - - 2010 - - | - -2020 | - - -
- - - - - -|Conif| Non- |Conif-~ |Non- - |Conif- - |Non- -
Region- - -|erous|conif.|erous ~ |conif. |erous- - |Conif.
Canada ~ ~ |165.3| ~7.9 |127-158 | 38- 50| 135-162 | 42- 55
USA~ ~ ~ ~ |285.8|116.7 |245-289 |117-140| 265-317 |125-155
Latin Amer.| 63.6| 67.4 | 85-100 | 89-118| 105-110 |105-120
Africa ~ ~ | 10.2| 49.4 | 12- 16 | 54- 59| ~14- 16 | 57- 65
Oceania~ ~ | 23.6| 13.3 | 33- 41 | 17- 18| ~53- 58 | 19- 21
China~ ~ ~ | 63.3| 35.5 | 50- 60 | 30- 35| ~53- 60 | 32- 40
Japan~ ~ ~ | 18.8| ~6.8 | 20- 55 | ~8- ~9| ~22- 55 | ~9- 10
Other Asia | 12.0|133.2 | 14- 16 | 65-124| ~16- 19 | 65-129
Russia ~ ~ | 86.2| 31.7 |130-194 | 30- 70| 175-235 | 30- 80
E.Europe(1)| 48.0| 32.7 | 59- 64 | 47- 52| ~61- 66 | 49- 53
W.Europe ~ | 78.1| 35.8 | 86-108 | 39- 56| ~91-113 | 41- 58
Nordic ~ ~ | 85.0| ~9.6 | 89-108 | 11- 14| ~89-116 | 12- 15
World Total|939.9|540.0 |950-1209|545-745|1079-1327|586-801
Totals(109m3)| ~ | 1.48 | ~ ~ ~ ~|1.5-2.0| ~ ~ ~ ~ |1.7-2.1
1) Includes the European countries of the former USSR.
2) 1993 Figures Are Estimated Production Figures.
Comments: These figures probably neglect forest plantations.

Estimated*# Availability of Fuelwood/ Charcoal (million m3/ year) from a review of the technical literature (96N1)
Year ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ |1993@@| ~ ~2010 |2020
Canada ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ | ~ 6.8| ~ 7- ~8 | ~ 8
USA~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ | ~93.3| ~90-103 | ~90
Latin America~ ~ ~ | 304.5| 312-329 | 357
Africa ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ | 493.6| 635-727 | 738
Oceania~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ | ~ 8.8| ~12- 15 | ~15
China~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ | 200.1| 221-230 | 240
Japan~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ | ~ 0.4| 0.8 - 1 | ~ 1
Other Asia ~ ~ ~ ~ | 666.0| 822-848 | 978
Russia ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ | ~49.0| ~ ~70 ~ | ~80
Eastern Europe(1)~ | ~20.5| ~ ~25 ~ | ~25
Western Europe ~ ~ | ~28.8| ~ ~30 ~ | ~35
Nordic region~ ~ ~ | ~ 9.5| ~ ~10 ~ | ~10
Others ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ | ~ ~- | ~ ~30 ~ | ~30
World total~ ~ ~ ~ |1881.3|2265-2426|2607
Zuidema et al. 1994|1881.3| ~ 1500~ |1450
(1) Includes European countries of the former USSR.
@@ The 1993 Figures Are Estimated Production Figures.
*# Adjusted FAO (1995) and Apsey and Reed (1995) estimates.

Growth rate of useable timber in natural forests: 100-300 m3/ km2/ year (97S1).

Forest Plantation growth rates in selected countries (97S1) (m3/ km2/ year).
(Comments: These are clearly pulpwood growth rates, not sawtimber.)
Southern US~ ~ ~ |1200~ ~ ~ |(Southern pine)
Iberia ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ |1100-1200 |(Eucalyptus)
South Africa ~ ~ |2500~ ~ ~ |(Eucalyptus and Acacia)
Brazil ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ |1500-4000 |(Eucalyptus and pine)
Argentina~ ~ ~ ~ |1500-3000 |(pine)
Chile~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ |2000~ ~ ~ |(pine)
New Zealand~ ~ ~ |2000~ ~ ~ |(pine)
Indonesia~ ~ ~ ~ |1500-2500 |(Acacia and eucalyptus)
(natural forests | 100-300~ |(all species)

Forest growth in plantations is expected to increase global wood supply by 0.1 billion m3/ year, although plantation wood productivities tend to be less that expected, often by a significant amount (96N1).

Growing "miracle trees" in tropical soils is discussed in Ref. 14 of (84G1). These trees deplete soil nutrients and water, and yields drop dramatically after one harvest. Examples of such trees include gmelina- or Caribbean pine on 7-12-year rotations, and eucalyptus on 15-25-year rotations. For comparison, teak takes 60-80 years to mature (84G1).

Some Pulpwood Growth Rates (98M1) (m3/ km2/ year)
300-500~ | eastern Canada
1000 ~ ~ | southern US
2500 ~ ~ | Indonesia
3000-4000| Brazil

It takes 15 years to grow pine large enough to cut for pulp in Alabama. Rotations of eucalyptus for pulp in Brazil can be as short as 6-8 years. Pulp productivities per unit area in Brazil can exceed those in Nordic countries by 16 times (98M1).

Forest Cutting rates in major Regions of the World:
(Rates are expressed as a percentage of current timber-volume inventory cut per year. Inventories and volume cutting rates on which these figures are based are given in Forest Watch, 10/91.)
US ~ ~ | 2.0(+)
Nordic | 2.0(+)
Siberia| 0.5(-)
Canada | 1.0(-)
Asia ~ | 2.4
Africa | 1.9
Comments: Some analysts have commented that timber volume data is often inflated, driven by political considerations. Also harvests usually do not include illegal harvests that can often be even greater that legal volumes in "developing" nations. (See elsewhere in this review.) A number of assessments claim that Canada's harvest rates are not sustainable. See elsewhere in this document.

(Forest Certification) Only about 200 patches of global forest (44,000 km2) have been "certified" (01U2). Comments: Certification is a process to gain some assurances that the forest is managed according to some recognized standards, including sustained yield.

[A2] - Sustainable Yield - Asian Sub-Continent -

[A2a] - Sustainable Yield - Asian Sub-Continent -Bangladesh -
Potential sustainable forest yield is 0.03 tonnes/ capita/ year (80R3).

[A2b] - Sustainable Yield - Asian Sub-Continent - India -
Woodlands in India can support a harvest of no more than 39 million m3/ year. (Government projections show India's demand for wood climbing to 289 million m3/ year by 2000.) (91P1).

In 1982, India's remaining forestland could sustain a harvest of 39 million tons/ year - far below the estimated fuelwood demand of 133 million tons/ year (88B1). Comments: There may be a units error here, although wood weighs about 0.5 tonnes/ m3.

[A2c] - Sustainable Yield - Asian Sub-Continent - Nepal -
Each km2 of farmland needs 3.48 km2 of forest to support it. The people of Nepal's middle hills need over 50,000 km2 of forests for fuel, fodder and timber, but have only 40,000 (87S2).

[A2d] - Sustainable Yield - Asian Sub-Continent - Pakistan -
Potential sustainable forest yield in Pakistan is 0.06 tonnes/ capita/ year (80R3). Comments: Obviously obsolete due to population growth.

[A3] - Sustainable Yield - Australia -

During an 80-100-year rotation, average MAI (mean annual increment) of native eucalypt forests in Australia range from 100 m3/ km2/ year in low-quality mixed-species stands to 800 m3/ km2/ year in better quality forests (96N2). Comments: These rotation lengths suggest sawtimber production, not pulpwood.

[A4] - Sustainable Yield - Canada -

Wedel et al (1995) and Williams et al (1977) have estimated that the implementation of sustainable forest management would result in a decrease in harvest volume of 10-25% in Canada's boreal zone, and 30-40% on the coast in British Columbia (99N1).

Canada net timber growth: 161.7 million m3 from coniferous forests + 32.4 million m3 from deciduous forests (99N1).

Estimates of industrial wood supply in Canada (See 99N1):

Bernhard Fernow (one of Canada's foremost forestry experts in the late 1800s) reported to the government: "I have become thoroughly satisfied that the timber wealth of Canada has been greatly over-rated. There is a vast extent of woodland, but a relatively small amount of forest fit and capable of commercial exploitation of timber. Throughout, Canada is extensively wooded but poorly supplied with timber." (83S1).

A Canadian government report noted: "The evidence is unmistakable. The limits are in sight for premium softwood sawlogs in many locations, and supplies of larger, high quality logs have become very scarce. Pulpwood shortages are emerging in local communities across Canada. Only a fraction of Canada's forests are being managed for sustained production, even today, and in most cases, the timber resource is renewable only if action is taken following harvest or natural calamity" (83S1).

In Canada, the total cut mandated by law (the "Annual Allowable Cut") exceeds long-term capacity by over 20%. Government investigations "made it clear that provincial cut levels were being driven by forest industry demands for timber rather than a clear understanding of the productivity of the forest land base", according to an independent study by BC Wild (98A2).

[A4a] - Sustainable Yield - Canada - British Columbia (B.C.) -

Future "sustainable wood supply" AAC in British Columbia (Miller, 1994) (in 99N1) (million m3/ year): 71.6 in 1994, 63.7 in 2010, and 53.1 beyond 2010. (Reed (1998) (in (99N1))) estimates a "probable supply" in 2010 of 47.0) Comments: "Probable Supply" data in Canada take better account of sustainability issues than AAC data that tend to have a large "political" component.

The sustainable yield of B.C.'s forests is 80% of the minimum cut for the past 3 years (i.e. 80% of 73 million m3/ year) (93D3).

The sustained yield of B.C.'s forests is 30% under the amount logged, i.e. 30% less than 85 million m3/ year (Ref.19 of (91P1)).

The sustainable yield of timber from the 25% of B.C.'s forests considered "productive forest land" is estimated to be 59 million m3/ year (91M2).

The minimum cutting age in British Columbia is 60-80 years (80W2).

[A4b] - Sustainable Yield - Canada - Ontario -

"Probable supply" in Ontario (Aspey and Reed, 1995) (in 99N1) (million m3/ year): 32.5 in 1995, 26.5 in 2020.

"Sustainable wood supply" (AAC) in Ontario (Callagan, 1994) (in 99N1) (million m3/ year): 36.1 in 1995, 31.0 in 2035.

[A4c] - Sustainable Yield - Canada - Quebec -

"Probable supply" in Quebec (Aspey and Reed, 1995) (in 99N1) (million m3/ year): 52.7 in 1995, 41.0 in 2020.

[A5] - Sustainable Yield - Developed Countries -

Wood-harvest utilization: up to 95% (97U2).

[A6] - Sustainable Yield - Europe -

[A6a] - Sustainable Yield - Europe -Finland -

A national quota has been established to limit timber harvests from its shrinking forests (Ref. 37 of (81B2)). Comments: "Shrinking" is disputed, since peat lands are being drained to create additional forest, and the volume of growing stock is said to be increasing.

[A6b] - Sustainable Yield - Europe -Sweden -

Timber-processing capacity exceeds forest growth rate (Ref. 75 of (80W1)).

[A7] - Sustainable Yield - Africa -

[A7a] - Sustainable Yield - Africa - Ghana -

About 15% of each tree cut is used commercially (97U2).

[A8] - Sustainable Yield - Russia -

Logging contributed to a 10-20% reduction in Siberia's growing stock from 1966-88 (94S4).

The sustainable yield of Russia's hardwoods is 0.25 billion m3/ year (Harvests exceed this by 25%.) (Ref. 71 of (84P1)).

Average tree growth in Siberia is 33-50% of that in the rest of the Soviet Union (92R5). The average diameter of mature trees in Siberia is 24 cm. (92R5).

Russia's Federal Forest Service reports a 1995 net increment of 0.822 billion m3/ year on Russia's closed forested areas (96N1). Tentative results from work done at IIASA (Shvidenko et al., 1995) indicate that the net increment on Russia's forested areas may be 1.15 billion m3/ year (96N1).

[A9] - Sustainable Yield - Southeast Asia -
[A9a] - Sustainable Yield
- Southeast Asia -Thailand -

The sustainable supply of fuelwood in northeast Thailand is 6.3 million m3/ year (as compared to a demand of 15.1 million m3/ year) (Northeast Thailand statistics for 1985: 170,000 km2 total land area; 14% forested; 18.06 million population) (88P4). Comments: These data indicate a fuelwood productivity of 265 m3/ km2/ year.

[A9b] - Sustainable Yield - Southeast Asia - Indonesia -

The World Bank estimates Indonesia's current rates of harvest are 50-100% higher than can be sustained. These rates continue to increase (98R1).

Despite clear timber shortages and a 1993 World Bank assessment that found timber harvests 50% higher than sustainable levels, the Indonesian government plans to raise harvest levels by 57% (98A2).

[A9c] - Sustainable Yield - Southeast Asia - Viet Nam -

Potential sustainable forest yield in Viet Nam = 0.48 ton/ year/ person (80R3).

[A10] - Sustainable Yield - Tropical Forests -

In the late 1980s, under 0.1% of tropical forests were managed for sustained yield (98A2).

A 1989 study for ITTO found that under 0.1% of tropical logging was sustainable (90R1), (90R2). Dr. Frank Wadsworth, Director of USFS Tropical Forest Research Center in Puerto Rico stated that 3% of the world's tropical forests are under management plans that may secure their future productivity (80R1). In 17 ITTO-member countries, only 8,000 km2 are being managed sustainably. In India, another 36,000 are managed over successive rotations. This means that 44,000 of the world's 8.28 million km2 of tropical forests are being managed sustainably (90W1). Comments: Harvest rates in Brazil and Zaire imply some sort of sustained yield, but this is merely because much of the forest in these countries are not yet accessible.

As many as 50% of the world's fuelwood users face fuel shortages, and as many as 100 million already experience virtual fuelwood famine (FAO data) (99A1).

[A11] - Sustainable Yield - United States -Eastern -

In the US, even though net removal is less than net growth, growth rates have diminished in recent years (95H2) suggesting that current timber production may not be sustainable in the long term (97J1). Comments: Ref. (00W1), p. 93 notes a trend in the US toward smaller and younger trees, so slowing growth rates could hardly be the result of US forests becoming more mature.

Net growth of eastern US hardwood growing stock was 8.7 billion ft3/ year (246 million m3/ year) in 1976, 116% above removals. Net growth of hardwood sawtimber in the eastern US was 22.9 billion ft3/ year (649 million m3/ year) in 1976, 66% more than removals (p. 380 of (80H1)).

Potential timber productivity of commercial forest land in the Northeastern US (fully stocked natural stands at CMAI) (77H3) (Commercial Areas (Col. 2) are in 1000 acres and [km3]
Site ~ ~ | Commercial~ |Potential|Total Potential
Class~ ~ | -Area ~ ~ ~ |Growth ~ |Growth
(ft3/acre| ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ |ft3 /acre|(106 ft3/ year)
~120-165 | 8621 [34903]|142.5**~ |1228.5
~ 85-120 |22034 [89206]|102.5**~ |2258.5
~ 50- 85 |37298[151004]| 67.5**~ |2517.6
~ 20- 50 |29209[118255]| 35.0**~ |1022.3
~All ~ ~ |97163[393372]| 72.3* ~ |7026.9
** mid-range * 506 m3/ km2/ year

Cumulatively the 140 mills of the US south are being fed by clear-cutting about 1.2 million acres/ year (4900 km2/ year) of southern forest. Even the wood-products industry's own trade journals admit that this cutting rate cannot be sustained (97L1). (The timber industry contends that most of the southern forests have been so relentlessly high-graded that only economically poor-quality stands of trees remain - trees appropriate only for chip mills (97L1).)

The current harvesting rate of pine in the southern US is probably surpassing the growth rate by 12-14% (98M1).

The hardwood harvesting rate in the southern US is expected to overtake the growth rate by 2010 (98M1).

[A12] - Sustainable Yield - United States -Western -

Oregon's sawmill capacity was well above sustained yield even in the 1930s (reported by Advisory Committee on Forestry for Oregon State Planning Commission) (77A1).

The USFS projection is for an 18% drop in Pacific Northwest timber supplies over the next several decades (78C1). All 11 studies of Pacific northwest timber supplies agreed that if current practices continue, the supply of timber products over the next several decades would not be able to keep pace with increased demand. Many of these studies projected production declines unless changes are made (78C1).

[13] - Sustainable Yield - Plantations -

New forest plantation areas are being established globally at the rate of 45,000 km2/ year, with Asia and South America accounting for more new plantations than the other regions (01F1).

For the 1990's as a whole, it was estimated that about 30,000 km2/ year of new forest plantations were successfully established globally (01F1). (la)

Of the estimated 1.87 million km2 of plantations worldwide in 2000, Asia had by far, the largest areas in forest plantation development (01F1). (la)

In terms of genera composition, Pinus (20%) and Eucalyptus (10%) remain dominant plantation genera worldwide, although overall diversity of species planted was increasing (01F1).

Industrial plantations account for 48%, non-industrial 26% and unspecified 26%, of the global forest plantation estate (01F1). These results were the first global estimates with a uniform definition of forest plantations and can therefore not be directly compared to previous estimates. The FRA 2000 (01F1) country statistics on plantations may also differ from those reported in prior FAO publications (e.g. (95F3)), partly due to changes in definitions. For example, rubber tree plantations are now considered as forest plantations, whereas in past assessments they were not. Previous assessments also used general reduction factors to indicate the successful proportion of plantations remaining after establishment. The FRA2000 assessment applied reduction factors according to the best available data from each country independently. Another reason for the change in the FAO statistics is the change in the information base from which the estimates were derived. FRA 2000 has the most extensive and up-to-date database on plantations ever compiled. With over 802 references on plantations, the current information base on plantations surpasses all other assessments. These include data from many industrialized countries as well, none of which were included in the prior global assessment reports (01F1).

In Chile and New Zealand, radiata pine (plantation) grows 2500 m3/ km2/ year. Loblolly pine in the southern US grow at 1250 m3/km2/ year. Eucalyptus (plantation) grows 40 m3/ km2/ year in Brazil and 26 in Chile. (Comments: Might there be an error of units in these eucalyptus data? m3/ ha/ year sounds more reasonable.) Comparable hardwood species in Sweden grow 500 m3/ km2/ year (99A2). Comments: These figures must surely refer to pulpwood production, not sawtimber.

Studies of the growth of slash pine in plantations on some of the more infertile soils of the southern Coastal Plain (in Louisiana) found that 10-year-old slash pine of the second rotation had 24% less volume compared to the previous rotation (96T1). Several other studies of Alabama and Georgia sites were cited that found 3-31% reductions on the second rotation, and another study was cited that found a "modest" decline in the productivity of slash pine and a "dramatic" decline in loblolly pine in the second rotation (96T1).

Ref. (96N2) cites a 1992 study by Horne and Carter that found no declines in yield in managed blackbutt forest in Australia over the past 200 years. Comments: This may not be referring to tropical soils and tropical forests - where there are lots of doubts as to the long-term sustainability of yields.

During a 30-40-year rotation, an average MAI (mean annual increment) in radiata pine plantations (in Australia??) of 2000-3000 m3/ km2/ year is common (96N2).

In Brazil, for stemwood production of rosegum on 8-12-year rotations, it was estimated that the yield of the second crop of trees is likely to be substantially reduced because of an insufficient supply of K. Even adding 200 kg. K/ ha. to the first rotation (twice the optimum needed level) still leaves the soil with insufficient levels of "available" K to sustain productivity in the next crop (96N2).

Ref. (96N2) concluded that it is unrealistic to expect to sustain productivity of plantation forests at economically acceptable rates of productivity and maintain soil quality without inputs (e.g. fertilizers and weed-control). Comments: Does this statement refer to both tropical and temperate plantation forests?

[A14] - Sustainable Yield - Hybrid- and Genetically Modified Trees -

There are, to date, no reported large-scale or commercial plantations of genetically modified trees (03M1).

Hybrid poplar, a fast-growing tree, has been planted on 30,000 acres in Minnesota since 1995. They're used for the forest-products industry and for power plants. In the next 15 years, experts predict, Minnesota's $6.9 billion forest industry will face a serious shortage of harvest-age aspen trees used for paper, pulp and other wood products. Aspen - often called popple -take 40-60 years to reach harvest age. Hybrid poplars grow 6-10 times faster and can be harvested in 10-15 years (03P1). Comments: Super poplars are highly water intensive, and rotation times could be so short that they will mine more nutrients from the soils than they return. This is happening with shortened rotations on pine farms in the south. Short rotations and intense growth cycles cause increased reliance on chemical fertilizers with all their attendant problems for human and environmental health and water quality and quantity.

Currently, aspen is the primary source of timber for Minnesota's forest products industry. The hybrid poplar under development will be used for pulp and paper and for oriented strand board, which has been developed in the past 30 years as a home building material (03P1).

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SECTION (2-B) - Forest Biomass - [B1] Global, [B2] Tropical Forest Biomass, [B3] Temperate Forest Biomass, [B4]~ Biomass Partitioning,

[B1] - Forest Biomass - Global -

Around half of the forest carbon is located in boreal forests, more than one-third in tropical forests, and roughly one seventh in temperate forests. The world's forests account for 65% of net plant-growth and carbon-fixation on land (96M2).

Forests account for 67% of all dry-matter net-primary-production (NPP) on land, and 45% of total NPP on land and water (Ref. 1 of (76S1)).

Carbon Fixation Rates in various Forest Types (in units of tonnes Carbon/ km2/ year)
Forest Type ~ ~ ~ ~ |Rate ~ ~ | Refs.
Temperate ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ | 140-500 |(Refs.39, 126 of (91M1))
Tropical~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ | 700-1000|(Refs.126, 127 of 91M1)
(An added 50 accumulates in forest soils (Ref.127 of (91M1)))
Tropical rainforests| 988 ~ ~ |(75W1)
Tropical seasonal ~ | 720 ~ ~ |(75W1)
Temperate evergreen | 580 ~ ~ |(75W1)
Temperate deciduous | 543 ~ ~ |(75W1)
Comments: Wood and most other biomass is 45% carbon, dry-weight. The above figures are called "net primary production" - the biomass produced by photosynthesis. The above numbers apparently refer to closed forests. Figures from Ref. (75W1) tend to be high relative to other studies.

[B2] - Forest Biomass - Tropical Forest Biomass -

In tropical forests, the bulk of available nutrient elements are bound in the biomass (leaves, twigs, branches, trunks, roots, etc.) and are tightly conserved in a closed nutrient cycle (75S2). Comments: Translation: Tropical soils are extremely poor in plant nutrients, except for the dead plant litter on the surface of the soil.

The average carbon density of tropical forests in 5300 tonnes carbon/ km2 (84B4), compared to 12,400 tonnes carbon/ km2 from an earlier study by the same authors, and 18,800 tonnes carbon/ km2 from Whittaker and Likens (Ref. 5 of (84B4)). (includes below-ground biomass) Old-growth forests can accumulate up to 30,000 tonnes carbon/ km2 (91M1). Comments: Biomass is assumed here to be 50% carbon, so the weights are dry weights.
Loss of the world's rainforest would be tantamount to losing 80% of the world's vegetation (p. 364 of (91J1)). Tropical rainforests contain 20% of the world's terrestrial carbon pool of 500 Gt. - 46% of this is in living forests (84G1).

Biomass of the world's tropical forests is estimated to be 205 billion tonnes. Weighted biomass densities for undisturbed closed- and open broadleaf tropical forests are 17,600 and 6,100 tonnes/ km2 respectively (84B4).

Global Biomass Inventory and Net Primary Production (NPP) Around 1950 (la)
(Ref. 23 of (78W1)) (Ref.7 of (77B1)) ((90W1), p.123)
- - - - - - - - - - - | - - - - - - - - - |Plant |- - |t. C/
Ecosystem - - - - - - | Area (million km2)|carbon|- - |km2/
Type - - - - - - - - -| - - - - - - - - - |mass~ |NPP |year
Trop. Rainforest~ ~ ~ | 17.0 (10.0)*(12.@)|344.Gt|16.8|988
Trop. Seasonal Forest | ~7.5 ( 4.5) ( 6.0)|117.~ | 5.4|720
Temp. Evergreen Forest| ~5.0 ( 6.0) ( 8.2)| 79.~ | 2.9|580
Temp. Deciduous Forest| ~7.0 (in above) ~ | 95.~ | 3.8|543
Boreal Forest ~ ~ ~ ~ | 12.0 ( 9.0) (11.7)|108.~ | 4.3|358
Woodland and Shrubland| ~8.5 ( 4.5) (12.8)| 22.~ | 2.7|318
Forest Land Total ~ ~ | 57.0 (34.0) (50.7)|765.~ |35.9|630
All Land Ecosystems*# |149.0(147.5)(151.0)|827.~ |52.8|354
Marine~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ |361.0~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ | ~1.7 |24.8| 69
Totals~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ |510. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ |828.~ |77.6|152
Columns 2, 5, 6, 7 from R. H. Whitaker and G. Likens (75W1) (1950 Data)
*Col. 3 is from G. L. Atjay, P. Ketner and P. Duvigneaud (79A1)
*# from Chapter 3
@Col. 4 is from J. S. Olson, J. A. Watts, L. J. Allison (83O1)

Ratio of total (including below-ground) Biomass to Stemwood Biomass for a Variety of Tropical Forests (84B4)
Life Zone - - - - - - - - - - - |Biomass |(tonnes/km2)|Total/
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - |Stemwood| Total |Stemwood
Tropical premontane wet forest~ ~ |41610 | 68970 | 1.7
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ |27280 | 47530 | 1.7
Tropical lower montane rain forest|38500 | 55280 | 1.4
Tropical montane wet forest ~ ~ ~ |26970 | 41580 | 1.5
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ |26970 | 37400 | 1.4
Tropical wet forest ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ |22950 | 41520 | 1.8
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ |20130 | 34800 | 1.7
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ |11050 | 17170 | 1.6
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ |29700 | 50130 | 1.7
Tropical moist forest ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ |34600 | 47370 | 1.4
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ |29750 | 39430 | 1.3
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ |29890 | 47310 | 1.6
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ |20600 | 32420 | 1.6
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ |23000 | 36180 | 1.6
Tropical premontane moist forest~ | 6350 | 17030 | 2.7 *
Subtropical wet forest~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ |15330 | 27180 | 1.8
Subtropical moist forest~ ~ ~ ~ ~ |13500 | 23040 | 1.7
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ |20900 | 29080 | 1.4
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ |11200 | 15700 | 1.4
Subtropical dry forest~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ | 5500 | ~7810 | 1.4
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ | 2900 | ~8980 | 3.1 *
Mean (standard error) ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ | ~ ~ ~| ~ ~ ~ | 1.6(.04)

* Not included in the calculation of the mean because these two forests are typical of open-forest formations. Trees in this formation tend to branch more, and have a larger proportion of their biomass in branches and belowground. For open forests, Ref. (84B4) takes 2.9 as the average total biomass/ stemwood biomass.

[B3] - Forest Biomass - Temperate Forest Biomass -

Russian forests contain 32.9 Pg Carbon, and account for 82% of terrestrial vegetation phytomass in Russia (03S4). (1 Pg = 1 picogram = 1015 grams = 1012 kg = 109 tonnes = 1 Gt.

Tables 7 and 8 present the aggregated estimates of phytomass for all Russian forests by zones and dominant species. The total amount of phytomass on forested area (closed forests) is defined as 32,862 Tg. C, of which 75.1% can be attributed to coniferous forests, 3.5% to hardwood deciduous, and 18.7% to soft wood deciduous forests. Shrubs (in territories where "high" forests cannot grow due to severe climatic conditions, shrubs are inventoried as forested area) account for 2.6%, and a negligible part of phytomass (0.1%) in stands of other species (03S4). About 78% of phytomass is above ground, and 22. % of phytomass is located below ground (of which 17.7% are tree roots). Green parts account for 6.2 % (of which 3.5% are foliage). Of 71.8% of above-ground wood, 60.8% is concentrated in stems (over bark). Uncertainty of the estimate of total phytomass of Russian forests is 4% (03S4).

Table 7 -- Phytomass of Russia's Forests in Tg of dry matter (1993) (03S4)
Species~ ~ |Conif-| ~ Deciduous| ~ ~|Totals
Group @@ ~ |-erous|Hardwood|Softwood|
Stem ~ ~ ~ |31055 | ~1228~ | 7669 ~ |39977
Bark ~ ~ ~ | 4321 | ~ 168~ | ~309 ~ | 5802
Branches ~ | 4058 | ~ 301~ | 1500 ~ | 5866
Foliage~ ~ | 2164 | ~ ~56~ | ~354 ~ | 2576
Roots~ ~ ~ | 8641 | ~ 576~ | 2401 ~ |11633
Understory | 1189 | ~ ~87~ | ~272 ~ | 1549
GFF ** ~ ~ | 2901 | ~ ~30~ | ~203 ~ | 3136
Total~ ~ ~ |50008 | ~2279~ |12400 ~ |66460
GFF = Green Forest Floor
Carbon mass is about half of the phytomass value.
Tg = Tera-grams = 109 grams = billion kg. = million tonnes.
@@ The table in the original reference breaks coniferous and deciduous groups down into specific tree species.

Phytomass (Tg. dry matter) of forestland - both forested (FA) and unforested (UFA) by bioclimatic zones of Russia (1993) (Table 8 of (03S4))
Zone- - - - - - - | FA ~ | UFA |Area|(1000 km2)
- - - - - - - - - |Tg d.m|Tg.C | FA | UFA
Arctic desert ~ ~ | ~ ~0 | ~ 0 | ~ 0| ~ 0
Tundra~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ | ~109 | ~25 | ~38| ~35
Forest tundra & ~ | 6860 | 604 |1412| 558
~ ~ ~Northern taiga
Middle taiga~ ~ ~ |41591 | 379 |4550| 345
Southern taiga~ ~ |13802 | 244 |1265| 218
Temperate Forest~ | 3318 | ~48 | 265| ~57
Steppe~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ | ~721 | ~ 8 | ~93| ~16
Semi-desert/desert| ~ 49 | ~ 1 | ~13| ~ 1
Totals~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ |66450 |1309 |7635|1230
To convert Tg. C (Col. 3) to Tg. dry matter, multiply by 2. (Tg. = Tera-grams = 109 grams)
Data in columns 4 and 5 come from Table 9 (See below).
The table in the original reference breaks Column 2 into green parts, woody parts, aboveground, belowground, and expresses them, and the total, in Tg of carbon (Tg C).

Table 9 (not shown here) shows the density of the phytomass in Russian forests (FA and UFA) by bio-climatic zones (those zones listed in Table 8 above) and by aggregated fractions of phytomass (green parts, woody parts, above-ground, below-ground). The relevant land areas on which these phytomass densities are based are given in Columns 2 and 3 of Table 8 above (03S4).

Tables 10, 11, and 12 (not shown here) show distribution of phytomass by dominant species and age groups separately for the European-Ural and Asian parts of Russia, and for all of Russia (03S4).

Stump- and Root Biomass as a fraction of complete tree Biomass (dry-weight basis) (93W4) (probably pertains to temperate forests) (dbh = diameter at breast-height)
Stand Size Class~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ |Evergreen| Deciduous
Pole timber ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ | ~0.2033 | 0.2109
Small sawtimber ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ | ~0.2030 | 0.2013
Large sawtimber under 21" dbh | ~0.2032 | 0.1943
Large sawtimber over 21" dbh~ | ~0.2040 | 0.1844

Branch- and Foliage Biomass as a Fraction of Above-ground Tree Biomass (dry-weight basis) (93W4) (probably pertains to temperate forest) (dbh = diameter at breast-height)
~ - - - - - - - - - -| ~ ~Branches~ ~ | ~ Foliage
Stand Size Class- - -|Evergreen|Decid.|Evergreen|Decid.
Pole timber ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ |0.1126|0.0348| 0.1402~ |0.1093
Small sawtimber ~ ~ ~ ~ |0.0960|0.0268| 0.1410~ |0.0991
Large sawtimber 21-" dbh|0.0860|0.0224| 0.1427~ |0.0932
Large sawtimber 21+" dbh|0.0768|0.0175| 0.1457~ |0.0860

Ratio of other forest biomass to stem-wood: 0.4-1.1 (Ref. 30 of (92K1)).

Stem Biomass as a Faction of above-ground Tree Biomass (green-weight basis) (93W4) (probably pertains to temperate forests)
~
- - - - - - - - - -| - -Total Stem -|Merchantable Stem*
Stand Size Class- - -|Evergreen|Decid.|Evergreen| Decid.
Pole timber ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ |0.7617|0.8010| 0.6503~ | 0.7269
Small sawtimber ~ ~ ~ ~ |0.8032|0.7990| 0.7695~ | 0.7737
Large sawtimber <21" dbh|0.8194|0.7979| 0.8053~ | 0.7852
Large sawtimber >21" dbh|0.8235|0.7975| 0.8136~ | 0.7884
* Probably equivalent to growing stock. (dbh = diameter at breast height)

[B4] - Forest Biomass - Biomass Partitioning -

The ratio of carbon in tree roots to carbon in forest litter-fall is about 2.6 (based on global data) (89R2). Comments: Litter-fall is apparently defined as woody parts under 1 cm. in diameter plus leaves, buds, etc.

The definition of "roundwood" used in forest surveys by the US Forest Service (the merchantable stems or boles of trees in the forest at least 5" d.b.h. including all wood above a 1-ft. stump, and extending up to a 4" top) accounts for roughly 20-25% of all photosynthetic materials produced on Earth (76S1).

Under-story and other minor forest vegetation seldom comprises over 5% of the phytomass (Ref.57 of (75P1)) or nutrient content (Ref. 15 of (75P1)) of fully stocked, mature stands of trees on good sites (75P1). Understory accounts for fewer than 2% of the all biomass (including below-ground) of closed tropical forests (Refs.12-16 of (84B4)).

100 m3 of green logs yield 63 m3 of rough green lumber + 10 m3 of sawdust + 27 m3 of wood chips. 63 m3 of rough green lumber yield 60 m3 of roughdry lumber (after being kiln-dried). 60 m3 of rough dry lumber yield 45 m3 of finished lumber + 15 m3 of shavings and trim (76F1).

100 m3 of green logs yield 55 m3 of green veneer, which yield 52 m3 of dry veneer, which yield 45 m3 of finished plywood (+5 m3 depending on log diameter) (76F1).

Phytomass Allocations in Tree Components in a Mature Deciduous Forest in Belgium (Ref. 15 of (75P1))
Stemwood ~ |43.8%
Stem Bark~ | 5.9%
Branch Wood|16.4%
Branch Bark| 4.6%
Twigs~ ~ ~ | 3.4%
Leaves ~ ~ | 2.3%
Roots~ ~ ~ |23.5%
Total~ ~ ~ |99.9%
(Data are consistent with data on deciduous forests in the eastern US.)

In closed-canopy forests in which trees account for most or all of the NPP (Net Primary Production), a highly variable percentage (8-67%) of the net tree production is allocated to fine roots. ((96K1) - 3 supporting refs. cited) Comments: The upper portion of this range seems way out of line - does fine root hair production annually exceed leaf- and twig production?

Armentano and Ralston (1980) found that in the early 1970s, 1650 million m3 of wood used for construction and fiber was harvested annually in the northern temperate zone (including China). At 0.6 tonnes/ m3, this corresponds to 0.99 Gt./ year of organic material (86V1).

Stocks of carbon (biomass) in closed forests are typically 3-5 times higher (per unit area) than in open or dry forests (87H1). Comments: A table in Chapter 3 from Ref. (84B4) gives more information on this ratio and the inventory data upon which it is based.

Armentano and Loucks (1984) estimate that the overall ratio of total forest biomass to the merchantable fraction is 1.96. Johnson and Sharpe measured 2.7 in temperate deciduous forests; 2.3 when forest detritus is excluded (86V1).

Herbs (grasses etc.) are assumed to contain 48% carbon (dry weight) (89R2).

Forest litter-fall is assumed to contain 48% carbon (dry weight) (89R2). Comments: Carbon content of vegetation: about 45-50% (dry weight).

Net Carbon Emissions from Tropical Forests, by Country, in 1980, in millions of tonnes/ year (88P1): (Total = 1.659 Gt./ year)
Brazil ~ ~ ~ |336|Thailand ~ |95| Burma ~ |51| Zaire | 35
Indonesia~ ~ |192|Laos ~ ~ ~ |85| Peru~ ~ |45| Mexico| 33
Colombia ~ ~ |123|Nigeria~ ~ |60| Ecuador |40| India | 33
Cote d'Ivoire|101|Philippines|57| Viet Nam|36| Other |337
Comments: This results mainly from burning - reductions in biomass inventory.

Carbon loss from the top 1 meter of soils following wood harvest and clearing for cultivation is believed to be about 20% and 25% respectively (87H1). A 1986 review of the literature found that earlier assumed values (50%) were too high (87H1). Comments: Soil carbon (1-3% of soils) plays a key role in soil fertility and erosion resistance.

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SECTION (2-C) - Effects of Diseases, Insects, Pollution, Grazing - [C1] Insects and Disease, [C2] Pollution, [C3]~ Cattle Grazing,

Mortality losses (from insects, diseases and fires) in US commercial forests are about 20% (18.6 billion ft3/ year of net growth (not including harvests); 4.5 billion ft3/ year mortality loss; 4.5/(4.5+18.6) = 0.2) (76S1). The USFS uses 20% in its analyses of net growth of US forests (76S1). Ref.(76S1) estimates that this mortality could be reduced to 15% with sufficient investment. Comments: "Sufficient investment" should be read "sufficient government subsidy".

[C1] - Insects and Diseases -

Dutch elm disease was introduced into the US in the mid-1920s when a shipment of European logs was bought into the port of New York. It is estimated that 100 million American elm and other elm trees were killed by that disease which is now found in every state in the union (94B2).

Chestnut blight was introduced into the US on imported chestnut trees in the early part of the 20th century. It has now spread over 200 million acres and has killed billions of mature trees (94B2).

White pine blister rust was also introduced into the US from Europe. It spread throughout the range of white pine in only 10-20 years. This disease as killed 80-95% of the white pine trees in infested stands from California to Montana (94B2).

Gypsy moth was introduced into the US from Europe in the late 1800s. It is defoliating trees from Maine to Michigan and Virginia (94B2).

Until recently, US markets were closed to Russian roundwood imports because of concerns over the introduction of new pest species into US forests. However, new rules were enacted by the US Department of Agriculture in August 1995 lifting the ban on the import of raw logs. Under these regulations, Russian raw logs must be sterilized to kill pests prior to reaching US shores. These regulations have been challenged by environmental groups as being too weak (95U3).

To avoid conflicts in the WTO, the US Dept. of Agriculture refused to set strong standards to prevent introduction of tree-eating invasive pests. Now the Asian long-horned beetle, a recent arrival, threatens to destroy US sugar maples (97S2).


(Global) Insects deplete 1.4 million m3/ year. Diseases deplete 14.6 million m3/ year (80W3).

(Siberia) In Taseyevo, Motygino and Kazachinskoye districts in the Krasnoyarsk region of Siberia, silkworms have eaten through 1300 km2 of fir trees (Pittsburgh Post Gazette, 6/19/95).

(Canada) In Canada in 1993, insects affected 200,000 km2 (420,000 in 1992) (96K1).

(Canada) British Columbia's average loss of wood to fire and pests is 19 million m3/ year (1966-76) (80W2).

(Plantations) Ref. (88P1) cites several examples of problems associated with monoculture plantations of trees in terms of increased susceptibility to insects and diseases.

(Plantations) Like virtually all large-scale monocultures, plantations are susceptible to disease- and pest outbreaks, so they require heavy applications of insecticides and fungicides - and herbicides to prevent invasion of competing vegetation. New Zealand's plantation managers have used over 30 different pesticides, including highly toxic organochlorines - usually broadcast from aircraft (98M1).

[C2] - Pollution -

[C2a] - Pollution - Europe -
25% of trees in 29 European countries, and nearly 50% of oak trees older than 60 years, have suffered extensive damage due to pollution and bad weather. In the Czech Republic, 72% of trees were found to be significantly damaged (Pittsburgh Post Gazette, 9/12/97). Comments: The Czech Republic is known to have the worst air pollution in Europe - to the extent that human life-expectancies have been reduced.

23% of the trees examined in 35 countries in and around Europe had defoliated over 25%. The report covered 81% of Europe's 549 million acres (2.2 million km2) of forest. The worst damage occurred in: Czech Republic (53% defoliation), Moldova (51) Poland (50%) (Wall Street Journal, 8/15/94).

A 1989 count by ECE found 82% of Poland's forests showing signs of air-pollution damage, 78% of Bulgaria's, 73% of Czechoslovakia's, 57% of East Germany's, and 36% of Hungary's (91F1).

A survey of trees in 34 countries finds 24% of the trees in Europe are severely defoliated. More than 50% of the forests in the Czech Republic may have suffered irreversible damage (World Watch, 8(6) (1995) pp.6-7).

Area of severely damaged forest in Europe (Column 1 is in units of 1000 km2) (92K1)
2~ ~ ~ ~ |former USSR
1~ ~ ~ ~ |Poland
1~ ~ ~ ~ |Czechoslovakia
1~ ~ ~ ~ |Germany
3 or less|remainder of Europe
8 or less|total (under 0.5% of Europe's forest area)
Comments: Ref.(92K1) argue that the growing stock of European forests is increasing, not declining, suggesting that leaf-damage may reflect something other than poor health. See their data on European forest growth in Chapter 3 of this document.

European Forest Damage (88F1)
(Areas are in 1000 acres and (km2))
Country ~ |Forested Area | Damaged Area
Bulgaria~ | 8151 (33000) | 2747 (11120)
Czech R.~ |11308 (45800) | 3695 (14960)
E. Germany| 7299 (29550) | 2077 ( 8410)
Hungary ~ | 4043 (16370) | 1010 ( 4090)
Poland~ ~ |21375 (86540) | 3122 (12640)
Yugoslavia|22539 (91250) | 1158 ( 4690)

Forest Damage in Europe, 1988* (90F4) (areas in km2)
Country - - -|Forest|Damaged|Country - -|Forest|Damaged
- - - - - - - | Area| ~Area |- - - - - -| ~Area| ~Area
Czechoslovakia|45780| 32500 |Luxembourg | ~ 880| ~ 370
Greece~ ~ ~ ~ |20340| 13020 |Finland~ ~ |200590| 78230
UK~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ |22000| 14080 |Sweden ~ ~ |237000| 92430
Estonia ~ ~ ~ |17950| ~9330 |Wallonia(B)| ~2480| ~ 870
West Germany~ |73600| 38270 |Yugoslavia | 48890| 15640
Tuscany, Italy| 1500| ~ 770 |Spain~ ~ ~ |117920| 36560
Liechtenstein | ~ 80| ~ ~40 |Ireland~ ~ | ~3340| ~1000
Norway~ ~ ~ ~ |59250| 29630 |Austria~ ~ | 37540| 10890
Denmark ~ ~ ~ | 4660| ~2280 |France ~ ~ |144400| 33210
Poland~ ~ ~ ~ |86540| 42400 |Hungary~ ~ | 16370| ~3600
Netherlands ~ | 3110| ~1490 |Lithuania~ | 18100| ~3800
Flanders Belg.| 1150| ~ 530 |Bolzano, It| ~3070| ~ 610
East Germany~ |29550| 13000 |Portugal ~ | 30600| ~1220
Bulgaria~ ~ ~ |36270| 15600 |Other~ ~ ~ |134740| ~n.a.
Switzerland ~ |11860| ~5100 |Total ~ ~ |1409560|496470
* Ref.(88B1) gives 1986 data.

Europe, exclusive of the Soviet Union, shows 310,000 km2 of damaged forest (over 20% of the forested area) (88B1).

75% of Europe's forests are experiencing damaging levels of sulphur deposition. The cost of these losses is estimated at $30.4 billion/ year (93B1) (IIASA estimates).

In a 1991 survey, of 75% of Europe's forests, the UN Economic Commission for Europe and the European Community found 22.2% of Europe's forests to be damaged, up from 20.8% in 1990 (94D3). The UK had 57% of its trees showing damage. Of fir trees over 60 years old in Poland, 77% are damaged. Total area of damaged forest is 475,000 km2. Air pollution damage to Europe's forests is $35 billion/ year. In the former Soviet Union, air pollution is reducing log harvest by over 13%/ year (35 million m3/ year) (94D3).

Most forests of the Jizera and Giant Mountains (on the Czech-Polish border) have been damaged or destroyed by acid rain (95D1).

SO2 emissions from INCO's metal smelter in Sudbury Ontario (in Canada) have killed all vegetation within a 1865 km2 area (88H1). In 1958 researchers measured and documented severe damage to white pine from SO2 from a Sudbury Ontario smelter (71H1). In 1963 an iron smelting plant at Wawa Ontario emitted SO2 that damaged white pine as far as 30 miles downwind (71H1). A smelter at Trail, British Columbia, damaged trees as far as 40 miles down the Columbia River before corrective measures were taken in 1931 (71H1).

Severonikel Smelters near the Norwegian and Finnish borders pump 300,000 tons of SO2/ year into the air. Over 2000 km2 of local forests are dying (Ref. 21 of Ref. (92Y1)).

[C2b] - Pollution - Asia -

Industrial emissions are blamed for killing off (a total of) 10,000 km2 of Russia's forestland, whereas the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident contaminated 40,000 km2 of forests within Russia, Belarus, and the Ukraine (92K2) (94P3).

Air pollution from huge nickel smelters in the Arctic city of Norilsk (in Russia) has killed 3500 km2 of forest and has damaged another 1400 km2. The Norilsk plant emits 2.3 million tonnes of sulfur dioxide/ year - 5 times the total sulfur emissions of Sweden (93O1).

In China, Sichuan's Maocaoba pine forest over 90% of the trees have died (5.4 km2). On Namshan Hill in Chongqing China, a 1.8 km2 forest of dense masson pine have been reduced by almost 50%. Both regions have highly acid rain (88H1).

[C2c] - Pollution - North America -

A Civil War smelter in the Copper Basin emitted SO2 and made 17,000 acres (69 km2) totally barren, while damaging trees on 30,000 acres (121 km2). Much of this land is still barren and gullied (71H1).

A 1969 aerial survey of Jeffrey ponderosa pine in San Bernardino National Forest found heavy smog damage on 46,239 acres (187 km2), and moderate damage on 53,920 acres (218 km2) (71H1).

All dominant ponderosa pine and Jeffrey pines on San Bernardino and Angeles National Forests are dying from air pollution (79W1). An 800-mile swath of smog-damaged forest extends from the Mexican border to the Feather River in the northern Sierra Nevada (79W1).

Browning and dying of ponderosa pine within 50 miles of an aluminum-ore reduction plant near Spokane was traced to fluoride poisoning (71H1).

A smelter near Anaconda Mountain damaged forests heavily in the early 1930s (71H1).

Table 6.17 of Ref. (80H1) gives mortality of US growing stock and sawtimber in 1976 by ownership for hardwoods and softwoods.

[C3] - Cattle Grazing -

Ranching accounts for 60% of tropical forest loss in Mexico (97R1).

Grazing by domestic livestock and, to a lesser extent by elk and deer, is the single greatest threat to the growth of new stands of Aspen trees on national forests in Utah. The paper highlights an examination of aspen exclosures established in the 1930s through the 1970s in the Dixie and Fishlake National Forests in Utah. The failure of aspen forests to regenerate into stands with multiple age classes is primarily due to ungulate herbivory, and not from fire suppression or an inherent characteristic of the aspen life cycle. In addition to higher tree and shrub diversity and density, the areas fenced to exclude ungulates also had healthier grass communities (01K1).

Ref. (95S2) lists and summarizes a large number of studies demonstrating that cattle grazing has played a major role in the over-stocking- and forest health problems on western US forests. Comments: The USFS has never acknowledged this, and the timber industry has called for massive increases in timber harvests on US national forests as the way to deal with forest health and over-stocking problems.

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SECTION (2-D) - Aridity- and Climate-Related Issues - [D1] History of Climate, [D2] Precipitation Limits to Tree Survival, [D3]~ Savanna/Forest Interface, [D4] Altitude Limits, [D5] Desertification,

[D1] - History of Climate -

Extensive reviews of available rainfall records in the countries of North Africa reveal no evidence of a decline in rainfall over the past century, though the desert continues to expand northward at 1000 km2/ year (UNFAO data) (76E1).

[D2] - Precipitation Limits to Tree Survival -

Forests generally occur only where annual precipitation exceeds 60 cm/ year (24"/ year) (Ref. 64 of (91M1)). Comments: Croplands (with less biomass per unit-area of land than forests) become marginal at about 20" (50 cm.) of precipitation yearly. (la)

Ref. (72R1) cites references (Korstran and Baker and Ronco) that found that Engelman spruce require some shade to regenerate. Spruce seedlings are injured by excess light ("solarization"), and survive poorly when exposed to prolonged periods of sunlight. This explains why many clear-cut patches in the arid West (e.g. Wyoming) fail to regenerate.

[D3] - Aridity and Climate-Related Issues - Savanna/ Forest Interface -

Most tropical savannas occur in areas of low or strongly seasonal rainfall. Savannas, where climate does not exclude forests, are argued to be a result of anthropogenic effects, e.g. burning and removal of seed sources (86B1).

Half the closed forests of Brazilian Amazonia depend on deep-rooted systems to maintain green canopies during the dry season. Evergreen forests in northeastern Para State maintain transpiration during the 5-month dry period by absorbing water from soil depths of over 8 m. The forest soil below 1 m. depth contains more carbon than does above-ground biomass, and as much as 15% of this deep soil carbon turns over an annual or decadal time scale (94N1).

[D4] - Altitude Limits -

The usual definition of timberline is that it's where there are 2 months or less of average temperatures over 50 degrees F (George Wuerthner, posting to RangeNet@egroups.com, 9/17/00). (la)

Tree lines in the western US decrease from 3500 meters (11,500 ft.) in the southwest to 2000 m. (6600 ft.) in northern Montana. In Alaska, tree lines occur at under 1000 meters (under 3280 ft.). In the northeastern US, tree lines occur at 1500 m. (4900 ft.) (Ref. 39 of Ref. (78B2)). (la)

[D5] - Aridity and Climate-Related Issues - Desertification -

Major symptoms of desertification (81S2)

Destruction of trees in open forests is believed to be a causal factor in desertification, a process claiming 50,000 km2/ year (UNEP estimate) (80U1).

Climate has not changed significantly in the past 2000 years (78D1). Comments: The basic contention being made here is that desertification is not due to long-term decreases in rainfall.

See the desertification map of the world in Ref. (78D1).

SECTION (2-E) - Forest Fires and Wind Damage - [E1] Global, [E2] Tropical Forests, [E3] Temperate/ Boreal Forests,

[E1] - Forest Fires and Wind Damage - Global -

Warmer temperatures, causing earlier snow runoff and consequently drier summer conditions were the key factor in an explosion of big wildfires in the US West over three decades (06H1).

Forest fires are destroying an average of 6.4 million acres (25,900 km2)/ year in Canada, compared with 2.5 million acres (10,100 km2)/ year in the early 1970s (06H1).

More than 29 million acres (117,000 km2) of forest burned in Russia during the first half of 2006 (06H1). (Southern Siberia's average winter temperatures during 1980-2000 were 2-4 degrees C warmer than in the pre-1960 norm (06H1).)

The world's boreal forests and their peat soils hold about 1/3 of the Earth's stored carbon. Forest- and peat fires release CO2 into the atmosphere, adding to climate warming, which, in turn, intensifies forest fires, further worsening global warming in a planetary feedback loop (06H1).

Forest fires, globally, destroyed at least 50,000 km2 in 1997 (WorldWatch, 11(2) (1998) p. 8). Comments: 1997 was a particularly bad year for forest fires due to El Nino making parts of Southeast Asia very dry.

Forest fires, exacerbated by droughts associated with El Nino, burned 25 million acres (100,000 km2) of woodlands over the last 2 years. (UNFAO's biannual State of the World's Forests report of 3/1/99) (AP/Boston Globe, 3/2/99). (global data)

Globally, humans initiate as much as 90% of total biomass burning (including savannas) (99L1).

[E2] - Forest Fires and Wind Damage - Tropical Forests -

Undisturbed tropical forests are usually too moist to propagate wildfires (91A1). 10-30% of forest fires are lightning-caused. The rest are man-caused (91A1).

Of the roughly 7.6 Gt./ year of carbon dioxide emitted into the global atmosphere, 1.6+0.4 Gt./ year come from forest burning in the tropics, almost all the rest stemming from combustion of fossil fuels. Net flux from forests to the atmosphere: 0.9+0.4 Gt./ year of carbon (96M2).

Recent studies find that fire in tropical moist forest creates a feedback loop that increases forest susceptibility to subsequent fires. The first fire opens the canopy, allowing sun and air movements to increase drying of the forest. Previous fire-killed trees increase fuel availability, and invading grasses and weeds add additional live fuel. So second and third fires are faster-moving, more intense, and of longer duration. Initial fires have been demonstrated to kill no more than 45% of trees over 20 cm. in diameter, whereas in recurrent fires, up to 98% of trees are liable to be killed (99C1).

[E2a] - Forest Fires and Wind Damage -Tropical Forests -South America -

Brazilian forest fires increased 50% between 1996-7, and another 86% between 1997-8 (99F1).

Fires in Amazon River basin: 24,546 during a 41-day period in 1997; 19,155 in a comparable period in 1996 (Satellite data reported by EDF in 9/97 Reuters News Service.).

[E2b] - Forest Fires and Wind Damage -Tropical Forest -Southeast Asia -

In Indonesia, commercial interests (many with personal and financial ties to the president) deliberately set fires to burn 20,000 km2 of forest in 1997 to clear land for palm oil-, pulp- and rice plantations, or to cover up the tracks of illegal logging (98A2).

In Indonesia, 50,000 km2 were lost to fires set by plantation owners in 1997 and 1998 (Thomas Walton, Derek Holmes, International Herald Tribune, 1/25/00).

Estimates of the total forest area burned in Indonesia during 1997-98: 6000 km2 (official Indonesian government estimates) vs. over 45,000 km2 based on satellite image data (99L1).

Satellite date showed that 80% of the fires that burned over 20,000 km2 of Indonesian forest in 1997-98 were set mainly to clear land for palm oil- and pulpwood plantations (99A2).

80% of the fires in Indonesia in the fall of 1997 are attributed to industry burning of natural forest so that it can be labeled "degraded", thereby permitting the establishment of plantation forests on the land (98M1).

[E3] - Forest Fires and Wind Damage - Temperate/ Boreal Forests -

(Global) Boreal forest fires consume 2500 tonnes/ km2 (91S1) (50% is carbon.) Comments: "50% carbon" suggests that the 2500 tonnes/ km2 is dry matter, not green wood.

(Global) Seiler and Crutzen (1980) estimate that 38,000 km2 of temperate and boreal forests are subject to wildfires yearly (91A1).

(Russia) In Russia, 15,000-30,000 forest fires covering nearly 5000-30,000 km2 are registered annually. In extremely dry years, which recur every 10-15 years, fires run out of control and become a kind of catastrophic calamity. During the last such dry year (1998), vegetation fires covered 95,000 km2 of Asian Russia (03I1). According to remote-sensing data, timber losses exceeded 500 million m3/ year. Insect invasions and diseases occur every 10-15 years, and these can occupy millions of ha. Areas of pest and disease eruption accounted for 30-40,000 km2/ year over the last decades (03I1). Losses of forest caused by these phenomena are comparable with those of fires. Forest protection measures (air- and land-based) are taken in an area of 3500-9000 km2/ year (03I1).

A variety of references support the view that Argentina's pampas and Russia's Steppe are grasslands only because of fire - probably man-caused (56S2).

Forests Burn-Rate (km2/ year) (91S1) (1980-89 data)
Canada|24,377 |Finland| 3|Norway| ~ ~ 9
Alaska| 1,989 |Sweden |36|USSR~ |30,000

[E3a] - Forest Fires and Wind Damage -Temperate/ Boreal Forests - North America -

(North America) In Alaska and Canada's boreal forests, fire consumed over 7 million acres/ year (28,000 km2/ year) in the 1990s vs. 3 million acres/ year in the 1960s. Boreal forests store 30% of the carbon in terrestrial ecosystems (00D1). Comments: The increase in fire damage is presumably the result of human-started fires, but it could also be from climatic warming.

(North America) Within boreal forests, detailed records for the US and Canada reveal that annual area burned has more than doubled in the past 30 years (99K1).

(North America) Ref. (56S2) cites a number of references that contend that prairie fires have been the deciding factor in determining the distribution of forests in the Middle West (Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, Indiana) (i.e. the prairie that early settlers discovered were fire-caused, and when fire was suppressed, forests expanded.)

(North America) In Canada in 1993, fire affected about 20,000 km2 (9,000 in 1992) (96K1).

(North America) US forest fires burned over 40 million acres/ year in the early 1900s, and under 5 million acres/ year in the 1950s (Forest Watch, 7/91).

In forests of the Blue Mountains of Oregon, fuel loads (for fire) have increased by a factor of 10 over the past 25 years. (Hall, 1994, in (97B3)) In central Arizona, fuel loads have increased by a factor of 9 over the past 100 years. (Covington and Moore 1994 in (97B3)) As a result, what otherwise might be low-intensity surface fires develop into intense conflagrations, resulting in high tree mortality (97B3). The increase in fuel loads is attributed to grazing (97B3).

In the northern Rocky Mountains, the average fire-free interval was 5-20 years in ponderosa pine stands, and 15-30 years in mixed-conifer stands (97B3).

The mean fire interval was 4-5 years in some parts of the Southwestern US, 10 years in southern California, and 5-38 years in the Northwest (97B3).

Fire scar studies have shown that low-intensity fires occurred frequently in ponderosa pine forests of pre-settlement times, with an average return interval of 5-12 years throughout the Western US (97B3).

British Columbia's loss of wood to fire and pests: 19 million m3/ year (1966-76) (80W2).

British Columbia forest burn: 800 km2/ year of forests (80W3). These fires cause a commercial wood loss of 2.9 million m3/ year (80W3).

In British Columbia, denudation by wildfire on accessible productive forest was 160 km2/ year during 1974-78 (80W2).

Wind damage to French forests in a 2000 storm: 100 million cubic yards ( m3?) of wood up-rooted or sundered (Wall Street Journal, 1/5/00).

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SECTION (2-F) - Reforestation -
[F1] Plantations, [F2] Africa , [F3] Canada, [F4] British Isles, [F5] Far East, [F6] South America, [F7]~ Southeast Asia, [F8] Asian Sub-Continent, [F9] Europe, [F10] US, [F11] USSR,

[F1] - Reforestation - Plantations -

Non-industrial plantations are aimed for example at supplying fuelwood, providing soil and water conservation, wind protection, biological diversity conservation and other non-commercial purposes (01F1).

An estimated 52% of forest plantations are grown for industrial purposes to supply raw material for industry; 26% for non-industrial uses; and the purpose was not specified in 22%, particularly in the Russian Federation, Japan and the Ukraine. The industrial forest estate ownership, where specified in these ten countries was: 33% public; 26% private; and 41% other or unspecified. For the non-industrial estate, figures were 39% public; 39% private; and 22% other or unspecified. The countries with major industrial plantation areas (expressed as a percentage of national forest plantation area) included the US (100%); China (83%); and India (37%). These three countries account for 73% of all industrial forest plantations globally. The countries with major proportions of non-industrial plantation areas included Thailand, 76%; India, 63%; Indonesia, 42%; and China, 17%. These four countries accounted for 75% of all non-industrial forest plantations globally (01F1).

Natural regrowth of forests is occurring in many industrialized countries in areas where agriculture is no longer an economically viable land use. This process has been occurring for several decades, and is particularly evident in some countries within the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), including the Russian Federation. The FRA 2000 (Forest Resource Assessment of 2000) pan-tropical remote sensing survey also revealed that 10,000 km2 of "other lands" (See Sect. (7-D)) in the tropics revert to forest each year. Along with the establishment of plantations in Asia, these new forests contribute significantly to a lower net deforestation. The above findings are illustrated in Table 2 below that shows the broad fluxes of land use by major domain and in Table 3 where the gross and net changes in forest cover are summarized (91F1).

Table 2 - Transitions between natural forest, plantations and other land 1990-2000 in millions of ha./ year, globally and for tropical / non-tropical countries (01F1)
- - - - - - - - - - |Natural|Plant-|Other
Global into 2000- - |forest |ations| land
from |Natural forest|- - - -| ~ 1.5| 13.5
1990 | ~ Plantations| ~ n.s.| ~ - -| n.s.
- - -| ~ ~Other land| ~ ~ ~3| ~ 1.5| - -

- - |Tropical Countries|Natural|Plant-|Other
- - | into 2000 - - - -|forest |ations| land
from| ~ ~Natural forest| - - - | ~ 1.0| 13.5
1990| ~ ~ ~ Plantations| ~ n.s.| ~ - -| n.s.
- - | ~ ~ ~ ~Other Land| ~ ~1.0| ~ 0.8| - -

- - |Non-Tropical - - |Natural|Plant-|Other
- - |Countries to 2000|forest |ations| land
from|Natural Forest ~ | - - - | 0.5~ | n.s.
1990| ~ Plantations ~ | n.s.~ | - -~ | n.s.
- - | ~ ~Other Land ~ | ~2.0~ | 0.7~ | - -
Notes: Tropical countries include those covered by the FRA 2000 pan-tropical remote sensing survey. The estimated rate of successful plantations for the 1990's as a whole (30,000 km2/ year) was used.

Table 3 - Gross and net change of total forest cover respective gross and net change of natural forest cover by major domain. Millions of ha./ year, 1990-2000 (01F1)
Domain- - - - -|Gross | - Net |Gross change|Net change
- - - - - - - -|change|Change | nat. forest|Nat. forest
Global- - - - -|- 13.5| ~- 9.0| ~ ~ ~ ~- 15| - 12.0
Tropical Count.|- 13.5| - 11.7| ~ ~ ~- 14.5| - 13.5
Non-Trop.Count.| ~n.s.| ~+ 2.7| ~ ~ ~ - 0.5| ~+ 1.5
Notes: Tropical countries include those covered by the FRA 2000 pan-tropical remote sensing survey. The estimated rate of successful plantations for the 1990's as a whole (30,000 km2/ year) was used.

For more than a decade, developing countries such as China, India, the Libyan Arab Jamahariya, Turkey and Uruguay have had plantation establishment in excess of annual deforestation (03M1). Comments: Was some of this deforestation done to establish plantations?

Plantation yields are often as much as 50% below initial expectations (FAO data). Single-species plantations do not allow for biodiversity of flora or fauna. But in spite of the high degree of failure of forest plantations throughout the World, the World Bank has paid out $1.42 billion to fund plantations in the past two years, and in the past decade has financed the establishment of over 29,000 km2 of forest plantations. The Bank plans to fund establishment of over 10,000 km2 of additional plantations (96G1).

Ref. (88P1) gives a table on establishment of plantations in the tropics during 1976-80, with projections for 1981-85.

11,000 km2 of plantations were created in Africa in the early 1980s. In Africa the cut/ plant ratio was 29/1; in Asia 5/1. In tropical Latin America, 77% of industrial-, and 92% of non-industrial plantations are in Brazil, mainly in the south (88P1).

In Brazil the pulp plantation industry plants 1000 km2/ year of eucalyptus and pine (99A2).

[F2] - Reforestation - Africa -

A Sub-Saharan area studied showed "a 2.3%/ year increase in tree density between 1972-81, in the wake of the disastrous drought of the late 1960s and early 1970s when pressure on woody vegetation from human and natural sources must have been intense." Field investigations in Uganda and Mali drew similar conclusions (95M3).

[F2a] -Reforestation - Africa - Eritrea -

Central government has supervised planting of 35 million seedlings since 1991 (survival rate unknown). Local communities have planted nearly 3 million more (Amicus Journal, Fall 1997, p. 16).

[F2b] - Reforestation - Africa - Niger -

A shelterbelt project covers over 710 km2 - 15% of cropland area (Ref. 27 of Ref. (88P1)).

[F2c] - Reforestation - Africa - Rwanda -
Scattered trees planted by rural people cover 2000 km2 - more than the combined area of Rwanda's natural forests and all state- and communal plantations (88P1).

[F2d] - Reforestation - Africa - The Gambia -
The FAO "Global Forest Resources Assessment 2000" (
01F1) shows that during the past decade, the Gambia (in Africa) has reversed deforestation, and is expanding net forest area (03M1).

[F2e] - Reforestation - Africa - Algeria -
The FAO Global Forest Resources Assessment 2000 (
01F1) shows that during the past decade, Algeria has reversed deforestation, and is expanding net forest area (03M1).

[F3] - Reforestation - Canada -
[F3a] - Reforestation - Canada - British Columbia -

The average area replanted in British Columbia is 505 km2/ year (440 km2/ year of recently disturbed area + 65 km2/ year of not-satisfactorily restocked (NSR) land) (80W2). Average area being added to NSR lands is 245 km2/ year. NSR inventory is 5930 km2; recently disturbed inventory is 4960 km2 (80W2).

British Columbian reforestation during 1978 was 500 km2 replanted + 480 km2 prepared for planting (80W3). Present rate of reforestation in British Columbia is not sufficient to meet the rate of denudation by logging and wildfire on accessible forestland (80W3).

[F4] - Reforestation - British Isles -

During 1919-39, the British Forestry Commission replanted 2430 km2 of forest. Private landowners planted 510 km2 more. These replaced the 1820 km2 of woodland felled during and just after WWI (77H2).

In 1969, Britain had 7,290 km2 of forest plantations, 4,860 km2 in subsidized management schemes on private land. 2,024 km2 of plantation are planned by 1978, and 810 more km2 of private planting are planned (73N1). In 1950 Britain had 6.4% of its surface in forests and woodlands - less than any European country except Ireland (73N1).

Since the early 1960s, Government- and private plantings in the UK have increased net forest cover by 300-400 km2/ year (Ref.17 of (88P1)).

In the British Isles and northwestern Europe, a uniform cover of heather supplants the temperate forest. When sheep are removed, birch and pine immediately invade the heather (56G2).

[F5] - Reforestation - Far East -
[F5a] - Reforestation - Far East - China -

A reforestation campaign in China added 18,000 km2/ year because bans on deforestation heightened China's reliance on plantations and imports (02U1).

During 1948-78 the Chinese established trees on 330,000 km2, and forest cover increased from 8.6 to 12.7%. During 1979-83, forest cover declined by 50,000 km2 despite annual plantings of 40,000 km2. In 1985, plantings doubled to 80,000 km2/ year (88P1). In 1950, Chinese forests covered 8% of its land area of 9.6 million km2. Since then, reforestation has occurred on 380,000 km2 (93W2).

Chinese national reforestation programs are often sabotaged at night by wood-starved pheasants seeking fuel wood (75E2).

During 1949-78, China's forested area expanded from 5% to 12.7% of the country (Ref.46 of (81B2)). China's forested area has increased by 300,000 to 600,000 km2 over the past 3 decades (Ref. 47 of (81B2)).

Persson (Ref. 9 of (77B1)) estimates that, during the past 3 decades, 300-600,000 km2 have been planted in China, and about 100,000 km2 have been planted in other developing countries (77B1).

By 1963, China planted trees on 700,000 km2 around the Gobi Desert. But the survival rate was as low as 10% due to inexperienced planting, poor maintenance, uprooting for fuel, and inhospitable growing conditions (76E1), (76E2).

A "Great Green Wall" of trees planted for 1600 miles across Northern China has made Beijing less windy and has reduced dust-fall from 301 to 252 tonnes/ km2/ year (87X1).

As many as 1,000,000 km2 may have been planted since afforestation began around 1950. However seedling-survival has been low. An FAO study estimates 300,000 km2 of plantation trees in China in 1970, plus another 23,000 km2 in other Asian Lesser-Developed Countries (81B1).

China's reforestation efforts during 1950-80 planted 1.3 million km2, but less than 30% of the trees survived.

In 1990, 50,000 km2 were planted in China (Ref. 39 of (95R2)).

Illegal timber harvests in China remove 4,500 km2 of forest annually (Ref. 40 of (95R2)). (Copied to Chapter 6, Sect. E.)

Planting for fuel-wood in China: 5,500 km2/ year - 20% of need (Ref. 18 of (88H1)).

[F5b] - Reforestation - Far East - Japan -
Since 1945, 45,000 km2 have been planted to cedar in Japan (93H1).

[F5c] - Reforestation - Far East - South Korea -
Since 1945, 45,000 km2 have been planted to cedar in South Korea (93H1).

[F6] - Reforestation - South America -
[F6a] - Reforestation - South America - Chile -

Chile has 13,000 km2 of plantations (85% Monterey pine). 770 km2/ year were planted during 1978-86 (91P1).

3,270 km2 of pines were established in Chile by 1974, largely through the government-owned National Forestry Corporation. In 1974, incentives were increased, and the reforestation rate doubled. By 1985, pine plantations covered 11,000 km2. (Chile's natural forests cover 200,000 km2.) (Refs. 40 and 41 of Ref.(88P1)).

[F6b] - Reforestation - South America - Colombia -
A recent UN reforestation program near the Colombian town of Ayapel on formerly tree-covered slopes is suffering from severe erosion and had to be abandoned because the project area was invaded by disenfranchised squatters (Ref.5 of (76E1)).

[F6c] - Reforestation - South America - Ecuador -
Reforestation in Ecuador has replaced 3.4% of the trees lost in 1980 (85W1).

[F7] - Reforestation - Southeast Asia -
[F7a] - Reforestation -- Southeast Asia - Indonesia -

Since 1985, 240,000 acres (972 km2) of Indonesia have been "reforested", as compared to the cut during this period of 11 million acres (44,500 km2) (90H1).

[F7b] - Southeast Asia - Viet Nam -
The FAO "Global Forest Resources Assessment 2000" (
01F1) shows that during the past decade, Viet Nam has reversed deforestation, and is expanding net forest area (03M1).

[F8] - Reforestation - Asian Sub-Continent -
[F8a] - Reforestation -- Asian Sub-Continent - Nepal -

The Land Resources Mapping Project reported in 1985 that 698 km2 of forest had been planted or managed as protected forest. The World Bank computed in 1984 that Nepal needs to plant 500 km2/ year until 1990, and 100 km2/ year until 2000 to meet human needs (87S2).

[F8b] - Asian Sub-Continent - Bangladesh -

The FAO Global Forest Resources Assessment 2000 (01F1) (FRA 2000) shows that during the past decade, Bangladesh has reversed deforestation, and is expanding net forest area (03M1). Comments: Reforestation is this part of the world runs a high risk of failure due to fuel-starved people cutting saplings for firewood.

[F9] - Reforestation - Europe -
[F9a] - Reforestation -- Europe - Portugal -

Local Portuguese farmers have opposed massive eucalyptus planting because it dries up small streams and wells. Proponents claim drought-resistant, fast-growing eucalyptus makes an effective windbreak, reduces soil erosion and is a good, light fuel (88M1).

[F10] - Reforestation - United States -

US landowners replant 3 million acres/ year (Forest Watch, 7/91).

In the 1920s, 40 million acres were added to the US forest base - mostly former pastures no longer needed for horses (Forest Watch, 7/91).

More than 2.5 million acres (10,100 km2) were reforested in the US during 1984 - 5 times the average reforested annually 35 years ago (Ref. 2 of (85P1)).

The US CCC planted 2.3 million acres (9,300 km2) to forest trees over a 9-year period in the 1930s and early 1940s. The Soil Bank planted 2.25 million acres (9,100 km2) over 5 years in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The Agricultural Conservation Program, authorized in 1936, established the first continuous tree-planting program in the US. 6.5 million acres (26,300 km2) of trees have been planted under this program (85P1).

A plot of US tree-plantings by ownership-class and cost-sharing program accomplishments during 1950-84 is given in Ref. (85P1).

Over the past decade, 1.7 million acres (6,880 km2) have been reforested under the Forestry Incentives Program. Currently 150,000 acres/ year (607 km2/ year) are planted - down from 200,000 acres/ year a few years ago due to reduced funding (85P1).

Reforestation on US Non-industrial Private Forest Land (1950-84) (Areas in 1000 acres (km2)) (85P1)
Agricultural Conservation Program (ACP) ~ | 4970 |(20121)
Forestry Incentives Program (FIP)(1974-84)| 1688 |( 6834)
Cooperative Forest Mgmt. Program-(CFM)~ ~ | 5632 |(22802)
State Cost-Share Programs-(1972-84)~~ ~ ~ | ~526 |( 2130)
Soil Bank (1957-60)~~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ | 2154 |( 8721)
Without State or Federal assistance ~ ~ ~ | 1849 |( 7486)
Total ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ |16810 |(68057)

A USFS analysis of forest inventory data showed total US reforestation needs of 37 million acres (150,000 km2) on all commercial non-industrial private US forestland (85P1).

Since WWI, US reforestation has occurred on 500,000 km2, counteracting the 60% (1.5 million km2) deforestation that occurred prior to WWI (Ref. 20 and 21 of (79S1)). Comments: Much of this reforestation occurred on croplands abandoned for economic reasons, particularly in the South where cotton monocultures had destroyed soil productivity.

Top 10 US States in Reforestation in 1984 (85P1) [Areas are in 1000 acres (km2)]
GA| 381 (1543)| |MS| 204 (826)| |LA| 146 (591)
FL| 226 ( 915)| |OR| 186 (753)| |SC| 140 (567)
AL| 212 ( 858)| |WA| 171 (692)| |TX| 136 (551)
AR| 127 ( 514)| | -| - - - - -| |- | - - - -

The US South has more forest coverage today than it did 100 years ago (02U2). Comments: Much or all of this new forest land is a result of cropland destroyed by cotton monocultures.

The Northeastern US has regained 93,000 km2 of forest since 1900 (AP, 8/18/00).

[F11] - Reforestation - USSR (former) -

About 65% of Siberia's forests are in the permafrost zone. Logging exposes frozen soils to sunlight, and once the top layer of permafrost melts, these areas often convert to swamps, making reforestation impossible (94S4) (92S1).

Over the past 40 years, afforested lands (in European Russia?) have increased by 799,000 km2. This revival is due to forests' self-renewal, to significant reduction of fires during this period, and to tree plantations (e.g., 183,000 km2 of forest plantations were registered as of 1/1/00) (03I1).

10,000 km2/ year have been reforested since _____ (91P1).

Reforestation: 45,000 km2 in 1980 (97B2).

Rates of afforestation in the former USSR (in km2/ year) (87H1)
Year |1925| 1950|1970|1980
Rate | 400| 1400| 700| 700

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SECTION (2-G) - Side Effects of Deforestation - [G1] Erosion/ Siltation/ Degradation of Croplands, [G2]~ Siltation of Dam-backwaters and Irrigation Systems, [G3] Water Quality Degradation, [G4] Reduced Rainfall, [G5] Floods and Landslides, [G6]~ Collapse of Civilization, [G7] Desertification,

[G1] - Side Effects of Deforestation - Erosion, Siltation and Degradation of Croplands -

Many non-desert tropical areas worldwide have lateritic soils. When forest cover is removed from these soils, the soil becomes brick-like. Such soils have virtually no nutrients other than iron and aluminum (77J1).

[G1a] - Side Effects of Deforestation - Erosion, Sedimentation etc. - Asian Sub-Continent -

Ref. (81B1) concludes that erosion, siltation and other problems associated with deforestation are likely to have become a severe constraint on food production by 2000 in south- and Southeast Asia. It seems likely that some of the region's present potential to supply human populations will have become irretrievable lost (81B1).

Flood damage in India attributable to deforested catchments amounted to $1-2 billion/ year in the early 1980s (Ref.16 of Ref. (95M2)).

In the Khaniara area of India's Himachal Pradesh, slate mines have stripped up to 60% of the forest cover, triggering countless landslides (Ref. 34 of (95D1)). Comments: The ability of forest soil to absorb water is vastly greater than that of croplands. This difference is described on p. 425 of Vol.1 of Man's Role in Changing the Face of the Earth, Univ. of Chicago Press, 1956.

In Nepal a UN forester wrote that deforestation in Nepal's hills was "becoming catastrophic, and (the resultant) erosion causes loss of property and human lives" (76E1).

In Sri Lanka Ref. (86U2) claims deforestation causes serious erosion- and landslide problems. Recent landslides 90 miles east of Colombo left over 3000 homeless. The World Bank continues to finance deforestation projects in Sri Lanka (86U2).

[G1b] - Side Effects of Deforestation - Erosion, Siltation etc. - Southeast Asia -

In Thailand, deforestation during 1985-88 caused landslides that cost 40,000 people their homes (90R1).

Deforestation in Indonesia, followed by bad agricultural practices, has resulted in 150,000 km2 being covered with worthless Imperata Cylindrica grasslands (84G1). Indonesia has over 160,000 km2 of non-productive land that is incapable of supporting agriculture or forests without major rehabilitation (Ref. 8 of Ref. (88P1)).

In the Philippines, 30% of 170,000 km2 of forestland suffers from various types of soil erosion (85C1).

Research in Sarawak concluded that soil loss from logged areas was over 10,000 tons/ km2/ year, as opposed to 10 ton/ km2/ year from primary forest (96G2).

Deforestation of upper slopes around Sumatra's Lake Toba (Indonesia) increased runoffs enough to destroy the utility of agricultural terraces at lower elevations (56B1).

In Java/ Bali 400,000 km2 are badly eroded as a result of deforestation (84G1).

[G1c] - Side Effects of Deforestation - Erosion, Sedimentation etc. - North and South America -

In Peru a government study of the more densely settled areas of Peru, such as the Lake Titicaca Basin, reports that wood is so scarce that all available dung is burned for fuel, and people pull roots out of the ground to burn as they cut the remaining shrubs (Ref. 27 of Ref. (76E1)).

In the United States the USFS is withholding information showing roads and logging caused an estimated 2000 mudslides on Idaho's Clearwater National Forest during the winter of 1995-96 (Chuck Pezeshki, Wild Clearwater Coalition press release, 9/11/97).

In the US Pacific Northwest, where many hundreds of landslides now occur annually, 94% originate from clear-cuts and logging roads (98A2).

[G2] - Side Effects of Deforestation - Siltation of Dam Backwaters and Irrigation Systems -

The Ambuklao Dam (Philippines) will be useful for only 32 years due to silt from deforestation in the upper Agno River watershed (76E1).

The $600 million Mangla Reservoir in Pakistan was started in 1967 and was expected to last 100 years. Sediment measurements after a few years of operation indicate its water-holding capacity will be gone in 55-75 years. If deforestation and over-grazing in the Jhelum River basin continue, the reservoir's life-time will be even less (76E1). The reservoir receives about 0.1 Gt. of sediment/ year - 80% from the deforested catchment of the Jhelum River (78M1).

The 40% reduction in forest cover in the Himalayan foothills since the 1950s has resulted in the irrigation systems in Uttar Pradesh in India being choked by 6 Gt. of topsoil (84G1).

[G3] - Side Effects of Deforestation - Water Quality Degradation -

The $1 billion salmon industry in the US Pacific Northwest is dependent on the region's old-growth forests (93D2).

Lake Victoria, the world's second-largest freshwater lake (27,000-sq.mi.), (20% of the world's freshwater supply), is being destroyed by nutrients carried in soil from deforested land, according to International Center for Research in Agro-forestry. Satellite sensing detected a plume of nitrogen-and- phosphorous-rich sediments which feed the water hyacinths, which starve fish and plankton of oxygen and sunlight, cause the lake to stagnate, and block traffic, and serve as a breeding ground for malaria-bearing mosquitoes and snails that host bilharzia, a parasite that attacks the liver, lungs and eyes. Vegetation, which used to filter the water of sediments from rivers that flow from the hills to the lake, has been removed (11/4/99 Nando Times).

[G4] - Side Effects of Deforestation - Reduced Rainfall -

Australian scientists say they have found proof that cutting down forests reduces rainfall. The finding, independent of previous anecdotal evidence and computer modeling, uses physics and chemistry to show how the climate changes when forests are lost. Ann Henderson-Sellers, director of environment at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organization, at Lucas Heights, and Dr Kendal McGuffie, from the University of Technology, Sydney, made the discovery by analyzing variations in the molecular structure of rain along the Amazon River. Not all water is made from the recipe of two atoms of "common" hydrogen and one of "regular" oxygen. About one in every 500 water molecules had its second hydrogen atom replaced by a heavier version called deuterium. And one in every 6500 molecules included a heavy version of the oxygen atom. Knowing the ratio allowed scientists to trace the Amazon's water as it flowed into the Atlantic, evaporated, blew back inland with the trade winds to fall again as rain, and finally returned to the river. "It's as if the water was tagged," she said. (Continued below)

While the heavier water molecules were slower to evaporate from rivers and groundwater, they were readily given off by the leaves of plants and trees, through transpiration. "Transpiration pumps these heavy guys back into the atmosphere." But the study showed that since the 1970s the ratio of the heavy molecules found in rain over the Amazon and the Andes had declined significantly. The only possible explanation was that they were no longer being returned to the atmosphere to fall again as rain because the vegetation was disappearing. "With many trees now gone and the forest degraded, the moisture that reaches the Andes has clearly lost the heavy isotopes that used to be recycled so effectively. (Continued below).

The average water molecule fell as rain and re-evaporated fives times during its journey from the tropical Atlantic to the river's starting point in the Andes Mountains. Forests played a vital role in keeping the heavy molecules, and their far more common relatives, moving through the water cycle. This is the first demonstration that deforestation has an observable impact on rainfall." (Richard Macey, "Fewer trees, less rain: study uncovers deforestation equation", The Sydney Morning Herald, 3/4/05.)

The world's cloud forests are under threat of destruction, and their disappearance could have a devastating effect on millions, according to a report entitled Cloud Forest Agenda. This report gives us maps of forest distribution, the threats they face and an agenda for actions. Cloud forest has been over-estimated and amounts to less than 2% of the world's tropical rainforest, 400,000 km2. Most are in Asia, rather than Latin America. It is estimated that 40% of water used in the capital city of Honduras comes from the cloud forests of La Tigra National Park. The forests are under threat from agriculture, logging and construction, but their ecology and location on mountain slopes makes them sensitive to climate change. Changes in temperature and rainfall will drive some into extinction and force others to higher altitudes. The amount of cloud at lower altitudes will cause drying of the cloud forests ("Destruction of Cloud Forests Threatens Water Supply", Science and Development Network, 2/9/04).

Deforestation in southern and eastern China is cited as the main reason for rainfall declines in the northwestern China - where the dust bowl is forming. (Deforestation can cause major changes in the hydrologic cycle - reducing evapo-transpiration and hence reducing moisture transfer inland.) (Wang Hongchang, "Deforestation and Desiccation in China: A preliminary study for the Beijing Center for Environment and Development, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, 1999).

Increasing a forested area by 10% in a plain part of European Russia increases precipitation by 10-15 mm/ year, on average (03I1).

Deforestation in southern and eastern China is reducing the amount of moisture transported inland from the South China Sea, the East China Sea, and the Yellow Sea. Where land is forested, the water is held and evaporates to be carried further inland. When tree cover is removed, the initial rainfall from the inland-moving, moisture-laden air simply runs off and returns to the sea. As this recycling of rainfall inland is weakened by deforestation, rainfall in the interior declines (01B1). (Official estimates show land on the eastern edge of the Quinghai-Tibet Plateau going to desert at a rate of 2330 km2/ year (01B1).) Reversing this degradation means (1) stabilizing population, (2) planting trees everywhere possible to help recycle rainfall inland, (3) converting highly erosion-prone cropland back to grassland or woodland, (4) reducing livestock populations, and (5) planting tree shelterbelts across windswept areas of cropland, as US farmers did to end dust storms in the 1930s (01B1).

Evidence from across West Africa indicates that deforestation has lowered rainfall, increased ground temperatures, dried up rivers and thus has spread deserts (90M1). (650,000 km2 of West Africa have been overrun by deserts in the past 5 decades (90M1).)

China's worst drought in decades is devastating crops and sparking social unrest in the north as farmers protest against water rationing. The disaster has dried up rivers and drained reservoirs since June 2000, forcing over100 cities to implement strict water rationing. The areas affected include the far northeastern provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin and Liaoning, Tianjin city and Shandong province in the east and the traditional dust bowls of Shanxi and Shaanxi provinces. In some villages, farmers rioted over higher prices and rationed supply. The summer grain harvest - mainly wheat - was expected to fall 11 million tonnes (9.3%) from 1999. China harvested 118.5 million tonnes of grain in summer 1999. Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji say rampant logging, overgrazing by livestock and heavy use of water by agriculture have made the problem worse. Zhu said in May that ecological returns are the main thing - in effect repudiating decades of Communist man-over-nature thinking and a policy of cultivating mountainous and marginal lands to boost grain output (Bill Savadove, "Drought kills crops, stirs unrest in northern China", Reuters, 7/20/00).

[G5] - Side Effects of Deforestation - Floods and Landslides -

The Charleston Daily Mail's 1/10/06 editorial, "Science vs. popular belief," is not a new debate. In 1911, A. B. Brooks (now in the West Virginia Forestry Hall of Fame) wrote, "Forests not only produce wood . . . they hold the water of rains and melting snow and give it out gradually to the springs and regulate the flow of creeks and rivers. . ." (06U1).

In 1921 the Society of American Foresters, referring to the flood of 1907, stated: "By that time, it had become increasingly obvious to both professional foresters, and many of the state's citizens, that the flooding was a direct result of the cutting of the timber." (06U1).

The Wheeling Daily News printed, on March 16, 1907: "Again the Ohio River, by its conduct, forcibly reminds us of the folly of timber destruction. No other cause than devastation of the forests could have given the Ohio Valley such a deluge following the fall of a comparatively slight volume of water." (06U1)

In 1908, the West Virginia Conservation Commission reported: "Public opinion has long held that the floods are increasing in number, not only in West Virginia, but also in other regions where rapid deforestation has been going on, but only recently were figures compiled showing just what is taking place in the state. . . . (06U1)

"The increase in total discharge of West Virginia rivers, in spite of diminishing rainfall is due solely, so far as available data can be interpreted, to the deforestation of the mountains. There is no reason to doubt that a continuation of timber cutting will increase the fluctuation of the streams." (06U1)

A. B. Brooks in 1911 wrote further: "Generally speaking a woodland soil absorbs more water than naked ground. The decaying leaves, the roots and stems, and the more porous nature of the upper layers of the forest soil, take up the rain and melting snow, and hold it for a time, permitting it to filter away slowly and enter the streams gradually. Sudden rushes of water down steep slopes after a rain are thus hindered, and the streams rise more slowly, flow more regularly, and seldom reach excessively low stages. When the same has been laid bare and packed by its own weight and under the unobstructed beating of raindrops, its surface hardens, its porosity is lessened, and it sheds water like a roof. The streams catch it quickly and floods follow. That is the difference between a forested and treeless region." (06U1)

The U.S. Forest Service research facilities in Parsons, West Virginia and Coweeta, N.C., have published research (science) which indicates that runoff from a summer storm will be more than 9 times greater below a clear-cut than below an undisturbed forest. They have also determined that anytime the forest canopy is reduced by more than 23%, there will be a measurable increase in runoff. (06U1)

In 1933, Charles Henry Ambler, in "A History of West Virginia," wrote: "The rapid development of the timber industry and the resulting clearcutting of West Virginia's forests depended on a political climate which encouraged exploitation of the state's resources. . ." "Because of the emphasis on development, there was no great emphasis on conservation in West Virginia until repeated natural disasters revealed the disastrous effects of the timbering practices used by the state's timber companies." (06U1)

In "Transforming the Appalachian Countryside," Ronald L. Lewis wrote: "The financial benefits derived from the development of the forest industry accrued to the select few over the short term, whereas the costs of the widespread destruction were borne by the taxpayers." (06U1).

In 1905 West Virginia Gov. Albert B. White declared: "The time has gone by when the man who deforests lands is a public benefactor." (06U1).

In 1989, Thailand banned the logging of natural forests in direct response to devastating floods and landslides that had taken 400 lives the year before. Though illegal logging is now at lower levels than before the ban, it is still widespread (Patrick B. Durst, Thomas Enters, "Forests Out of Bounds: Impacts and Effectiveness of Logging Bans in Natural Forests in Asia-Pacific", Bangkok: UN FAO, Asia-Pacific Forestry Commission, October 2001).

NOTE: See the Soils Loss review document for data on the capacity of forest soils to absorb rainwater. That capacity is far greater than that of soils under other uses, although wetlands are even better. This helps to explain the observed relationship between deforestation and flooding which is becoming far more broadly recognized.

[G5a] - Side Effects of Deforestation - Floods and Landslides - Global and General -

In 1998, natural disasters left far more people (globally) needing aid than armed conflicts did (99R1).

The number of people (globally) needing aid after disasters like floods and earthquakes: less than 500,000/ year in 1992; over 5.5 million/ year in 1998 (99R1).

Natural systems, such as "dunes, barrier islands, mangrove forests and coastal wetlands", all absorb floodwaters (01A1).

"In the 1990s, ...hurricanes, floods, and fires affected more than two billion people and caused in excess of $608 billion in economic losses worldwide", more than "the previous four decades combined". The root causes of these catastrophes were destructive ecological practices and overpopulation (01A1). One third of the world's population (2 billion) and "13 of the world's 19 mega-cities (10 million+ inhabitants)" are "within 100 km. of a coastline" (01A1).

[G5b] - Side Effects of Deforestation - Floods -Developing World -

The editors of the UN magazine Ceres wrote in 1975: "It is no coincidence that in all the countries with major crop failures in recent years due to drought or floods (Bangladesh, Ethiopia, India, Pakistan and the Sahel countries) the forests had been razed to the ground (76E1).

96% of "recorded disaster fatalities" occurred in developing nations in the past 15 years (01A1).

[G5c] - Side Effects of Deforestation - Floods - Asian Sub-Continent -

Flooding in Bangladesh made 30 million temporarily homeless (Pittsburgh Post Gazette, 11/28/98).

Deforestation in Bangladesh and India have caused the increasing frequency and force of floods. In the past, major floods occurred only every 50 years. By the 1980's they've began occurring every 4 years. Between the late 1960s and late 1980s, India's flood-prone areas grew from 243,000 km2 to 575 million km2 (93U6).

The area subject to annual flooding in India expanded from 47 million acres (190,000 km2) in 1960 to 124 million acres (502,000 km2) in 1984 due largely to deforestation in the Himalayan Mountains. A Sept. 1988 flood covered 2/3 of Bangladesh (the worst on record) doing extensive crop damage (89B1).

Value of water regulation and flood control provided by India's forests is $72 billion/ year (93D2).

50-75% of the middle mountain ranges in Nepal and India have been deforested in recent decades. As a result, since 1980 Bangladesh has suffered several 50-year floods, each worse than the last (Ref. 27 of Ref. (88J1)).

[G5d] - Side Effects of Deforestation - Floods - Far East -

Record rains in China's Yangtze basin in summer 1998 left 3600 dead, 14 million homeless, and $36 billion in economic losses (99W1). These losses have been attributed to deforestation, drainage of lakes and wetlands and soil erosion filling in lakes (p. 5 of Ref. (00W1)). (See the Irrigated lands degradation review for data on elimination of lakes via soil sediments and draining.)

The death toll in a 7/13/00 landslide in Ziyang county in Shaanxi province set off by 4 days of heavy rains in western China was 202. This brought to at least 647 the number of people reported killed in floods during by China's summer rainy season, which usually peaks in late July. Flooding often is worsened by excessive farming and tree-cutting that leave stripped hillsides unable to trap rainfall (Associated Press 7/20/00).

China is restoring forests to prevent overwhelming human and financial losses from floods (01A1).

Chinese Vice Premier Wen Jiabao yesterday told Chinese legislators that environmental neglect, particularly severe erosion caused by heavy logging, is partly to blame for China's devastating floods. The Chinese government is reportedly planning reforestation projects along major waterways, and rivers and lakes (Greenwire, 8/27/98).

In Yangxin, a river-crossed county on the southern banks of the Yangtze in Hubei province China, since the mid-1970s, the county government has emptied 104 lakes and turned the lake bottoms into cotton fields and housing projects. The county's population: 400,000 in 1949; 900,000 in 1998. This pattern has been repeated throughout the Yangtze River basin. Land reclamation has reduced the area of Dongting and Poyang lakes 30%, two of China's largest bodies of water, in under 30 years. The population of the river valley has more than doubled since 1949, to 200 million in 1998 (98P1).

In China's forests in Manchuria, another area of massive flooding in mid-1998, the virgin forests disappeared, as well as new-growth trees (98P1).

During the August 1998 floods, the Yangtze River's flow peaked at less than 2 million cubic feet/ second, a rate it had surpassed 23 times since 1949. So by any measure, this year's flow should not have been a problem. But the combination of land reclamation and population growth created an environmental time bomb. The lakebeds, which used to soak up excess water, became giant traps. Throughout the region, over 5.6 million houses were washed away (98P1).

Storm runoff from deforested hillsides drowned 750 people and left 1.5 million people homeless along the upper Yangtse (In China's Sichuan Province) (81F2). The Yangtze, once comparably clean, is now about as muddy as the Yellow River. Following the July (1980?) flood, the Yangtze in Sichuan Province was carrying 2.35 million cubic yards of sediment/ hour (81F2).

In response to the 1998 floods, the Chinese government began enforcing a logging ban in the upper Yangtze watershed and began reforesting the watershed. It acknowledged that water-storage value of forests is worth 3 times as much as the cut timber (99A1).

In 1998, heavy rains bought record-setting floods to many deforested regions, e.g. India, Bangladesh, Mexico. China's Yangtze watershed, which has lost 85% of its forests to logging and agriculture, suffered thousands of deaths, dislocations of hundreds of millions of people and inundation of hundreds of thousands of km2 of croplands (99A1).

China's worst flood since 1954 in Yangtze River valley, left 3,656 people dead and doused 64 million acres of land in mid-1998. China's cabinet banned most logging in Sichuan province to halt the massive soil erosion that contributed to the deluge. It prohibited further land reclamation projects that squeezed the Yangtze's flood plain. It earmarked $2 billion to reforest barren hills in the Yangtze's upper reaches (98P1).

Flooding in China's Yangtse River - 3700 deaths, dislocated 223 million people, flooded 50 million acres of cropland (Pittsburgh Post Gazette, 11/28/98).

[G5e] - Side Effects of Deforestation - Floods - Southeast Asia -

Rising Mekong River waters threatened more than one million people. Central Thailand is endangered by floods that have destroyed 250,000 acres (1012 km2) of rice, maize and sesame ("More than a million threatened by Mekong floods", Reuters CNN.com 9/18/00).

Recent floods in the Greater Mekong Region may have been caused principally by deforestation, experts at the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific say. In most countries, forests have been reduced from 70% of land area in 1945 to 25% today, ESCAP said. Other causes of recent floods include reduction in river channels and drainage systems, reclamation of floodplains and wetlands, rapid expansion of urban and residential areas, and uncommon rainfall patterns. (ESCAP release, 9/22/00) (UN Wire: 9/25/00).

Four million residents of Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam were affected in September, 2000 by the worst flooding in the Mekong River basin for nearly 40 years. Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy attributed the flood to massive deforestation in Cambodia (Pittsburgh Post Gazette, 9/22/00).

Viet Nam is restoring mangroves to "buffer coastal storms" and to restore "needed jobs in fisheries" (01A1).

Widespread illegal logging is named as a factor in disastrous flooding that has hit the central coast of Vietnam for the second time in two months. The World Wildlife Fund says the government and provincial authorities are aware of the need to protect the forests and have been active in programs to plant more trees, but illegal logging has been stripping forests from a steep mountain range not far inland of the flooded area. Under 10% of Vietnam is covered by primary (closed??) forest (Environmental News Service, 12/9/99).

In 2000, major flooding caused by logging in Indonesia's Kerinci National Park destroyed rice crops and caused local food shortages (01S1).

Because shrinkage of Indonesia's forests have caused floods, drought, and consequent reductions in rice production, Indonesia announced a 28% cut in timber output to 22.5 million m3/ year over the next 5 years (94H1).

Millions of people in Indonesia are now subject to increased flooding, mudslides, and wildfires (01U2).

[G5f] - Side Effects of Deforestation - Floods - Europe -

Deforestation, illegal urban sprawl and corruption are blamed for the mudslides that killed several hundred people in Sarno Italy in May of 1998. The town of Sarno routinely ignored zoning laws and environmental regulations (GREENLines Issue #625, 5/12/98, Defenders of Wildlife).

[G5g] - Side Effects of Deforestation - Floods - South and Central America -

Hurricane Mitch killed 15,000 people in Central America, mostly in Honduras. From a treeless hill above the capitol city, Tegucigalpa, tons of topsoil turned to mud and flowed down from hills and into a river that jumped banks to destroy markets, factories, and homes. Mitch left 2 million homeless, jobless, or otherwise damaged. Once almost entirely forested, Honduras loses about 250,000 acres/ year (1012 km2/ year) to logging, burning, and clearing of rainforest to create pasture, and to erosion from poor farming practices. About 80% of the land is sloped, so when rain is heavy, without trees to break rainfall or hold the soil in place, the land turns to sliding mud and the rivers choke, causing floods (Sierra Magazine, Nov/ Dec.2000).

Deaths from Hurricane Mitch in Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and El Salvador: 11,000 (Pittsburgh Post Gazette, 11/28/98) Comments: Much of the damage has been attributed to deforestation on steep hillsides. Deforestation has been attributed to cattle producers who have appropriated much of the best land for their ranches (See Pittsburgh Post Gazette, 11/22/98).

Seven floods in Jamaica from 1979-93 caused 116 deaths, left 51,000 homeless and cost an average of J$ 1.6 billion per flood ("Forests Vital for Economic Growth UNDP, USAID, CIDA", The Gleaner (Jamaica), 3/23/03).

Death toll from massive mudslides and flooding in Venezuela: 5000+ (AP, 12/20/99).

Hurricane Mitch was the worst natural disaster in Central America in decades. But now, scientists** are arguing that humans had made the devastation even worse. Clear-cutting logging, hillside farms, and rampant housing development exacerbated mudslides and floods, scientists say. The damage was most extreme in Honduras, where loggers and farmers strip away 910 km2/ year of forests. Mud and avalanches devastated clear-cut areas. Mitch barely had an impact on small, experimental "shade-grown" plantations that mix coffee with traditional trees. On clear-cuts, the soil structure collapsed and the plants slipped down the slope. In central Honduras heavily forested areas were relatively unscathed. But regions where trees had been plundered, and slums had sprouted on hills, were denuded. Even the houses had tumbled into rivers. A survey of Honduras by the UN FAO found that 41% was forested in 1990. In 1995 35% was forested. Environmental groups say those figures are overly optimistic (98M2).

[G5h] - Side Effects of Deforestation - Floods - Africa -

People affected by flooding in Mozambique: 1 million (Associated Press, 3/1/00).

In Ghana the 1999 floods killed 70 Ghanaians, displaced more than 280,000. 200 dams, wells and boreholes in the upper West Region are polluted with an amalgam of sewage, high colonies of fecal coliform and used engine oil. Bloating carcasses of domestic animals float in the contaminated water (Environment News Service, 2/29/00). Comments: Most major, catastrophic flooding elsewhere in the world has been attributed to deforestation of hillsides.

[G6] - Side Effects of Deforestation - Collapse of Civilizations -

Deforestation and soil erosion were factors in almost every civilization collapse studied by Jared Diamond in his book (04D1).

Mayan kings sought to outdo each other with more and more impressive temples, covered with thicker and thicker plaster. Making plaster required wood, which in turn required the deforestation that helped trigger the Maya collapse (04D1).

Rats, an invasive species in the Easter Islands, helped to wipe out the palm trees there, furthering the demise of that civilization (04D1). The felling of trees for high-altitude gardens, the cremation of bodies, the building of canoes and scaffolding for statues were also part of the process that led to massive deforestation and decreased crop yields (04D1).

Around 1030 the Anasazi switched from ponderosa pine logs gathered 25 miles away to spruce and Douglas fir logs that grew only as the tops of distant mountains surrounding their canyon. Pinion pine needles and juniper twigs disappeared from pack rat nests around 1200 AD - the time the Anasazi vanished. The Anasazi's fuel wood requirements could easily have stripped their canyons bare by 1200 AD. Firewood problems could have caused them to abandon their canyon (87B2). Comments: There is a lot more material on this topic in the topsoil Loss Review.

[G7] - Side Effects of Deforestation - Desertification -

A 2001 survey by China's State Forestry Administration says 28% of China's land mass has been overtaken by desert, with 18% being decimated by effects of overgrazing and deforestation (China Daily reports, 1/31/02).

Destruction of trees in open forests is believed to be a causal factor in desertification - a process claiming 50,000 km2/ year (globally) by a UNEP estimate (80U1).

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