Do you feel nuisance when bugs enter your home? Who doesn’t? No matter how likely you are to wish for the permanent disappearance of bugs, you can’t deny their benefits to the ecology. Despite beliefs, insects do contribute to the betterment of forests. An outbreak of insects can reduce the chances of a subsequent wildfire although some insects cause some decline.
How is a Natural Disturbance Good for Forests?
While humans rarely pass the 100-year mark, current numbers being on the lower side, forests live much longer. For trees, natural disturbances deliver benefits on the macro levels.
- Insects: Outbreak of insects are known to prevent the ecosystem’s longevity. When this happens, trees are persuaded to release the nutrients stored inside and make the soil healthy again. They also enhance the productivity of the ecosystem by helping forests get rid of aging and sick trees.
- Disease: Contrarily to the notion of diseases being bad, forests gain benefits from them. Diseases can help remove weakened trees and let the forest renew itself, contributing to healthy biodiversity. Moreover, diseases help nutrient recycling by breaking down dead organic materials. Root diseases are the most common ones among forests.
- Wildfires for Forest Management: While people may believe wildfires destroy forests, they are actually good for them. Fire helps the nutrients littering in the forest area return to the ecosystem. In addition, fire opens the canopy and help trees get better sunlight, stimulating new growth. Moreover, species like lodgepole pine are known to reproduce after wildfires.
In short, insects and natural disturbances can contribute to the betterment of forests. But if you are planning for a private forest, you should get a PNF plan first for the maximum benefits.