The boreal forests are those areas found north of the Arctic Circle and yet still below the tundra line. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica On-line dictionary, the area is characterized by “vegetation composed primarily of cone-bearing, needle-leaved, or scale-leaved evergreen trees, found in regions that have long winters and moderate to high annual precipitation. It is also referred to as Taiga Forest. They cover much of Northern Europe, Canada, Alaska, and Northern Asia. They are also being logged extensively for timber. What is the consequences of this extensive logging in northern woodlands?
The consequences are the same for harvesting excessively of any large forested areas, destuction of the environment, loss of habitat for many creatures and all for a short-term nonsustainable gain. This is extremely true of the Taiga Forests. Why of the Taiga Forests more so than temperate woodlands? Because they are already struggling in a harsh environment, fighting with global warming, and are very slow to regenerate under the best of conditions!
These are northern Forests that have evolved to survive in places where the temperature is frequently below freezing, daylight is virtually nonexistent for several months and the soil is often poor. The individual trees grow very slowly and, while the cones may contain numerous seeds, the animals that inhabit these places need those seeds or seedlings to survive winter, so most of the seeds get eaten. In areas of extensive logging the seeds get eaten faster than they can grow! Of course with extensive logging of the boreal forests, most of the animals living there will disappear, and, at present, extinction is forever!
Once the Forests are gone the soil will become lost due to erosion. The cold arctic winds will feeze and then dessicate the soil. It then becomes powder and blows away. It will end up somewhere though, probably in the sea. It can then help silt up the sea and kill off the creatures living there. But some one will have some nice cedar floors!
Rather than extensive, clear cut logging, controlled practices should be instigated. Remove lines of trees and then replant. This allows regrowth and the tree rows will prevent the erosion. Sustainable forestry practices can work in boreal forests just as the do in more temperate areas, and are needed just as much!
Extensive logging means extensive destruction, and that mean loss of the Boreal Woodlands.