Besides providing us clean air, why are trees important?
We already know trees are natural greenhouse gas emission absorbers, but why else are they important?
“Because trees use carbon dioxide to build their trunks, branches, roots and leaves, they are natural carbon absorbers and help to clean the air. In fact, one mature tree can absorb up to 22lbs per year during their first 20 years of growth! And the benefits don’t stop there: healthy trees hold the soil together, provide a home for wildlife, regulate temperatures, slow the flow of water through landscapes, grow vital foods and medicines, and more.” – OneTreePlanted
- Trees are the foundation species of the forest
Species diversity in a forest ecosystem depends on the genetic diversity of key tree species. For example, as genetic diversity of the main tree species is lost, other species, like insects and fungi, that are specifically associated with certain trees may disappear too, leaving the whole forest ecosystem biologically impoverished.
- Diverse trees provide diverse goods and services
Billions of people depend on trees for fuel, medicine, food, tools and containers, fodder for livestock, shade, and watershed maintenance. Selecting individual trees with the most desirable characteristics in breeding programs, allows them to adapt to changing conditions and continue to produce the goods and services that people need.
- Forests and trees provide ecosystem services
Trees provide soil and water conservation, facilitate carbon sequestration, improve biodiversity and increase the number of pollinators and natural pest predators, like birds. At least 1/3 of the world’s crops depend upon pollination provided by insects and other animals. Forests also provide bridges to aid wildlife movement through agricultural lands.
- Tree genetic diversity is vital in landscape restoration efforts
Tree populations need genetic variation for survival, good growth and viability in the long term. It enhances resistance to acute and chronic stressors, such as pests and diseases, and the effects of global warming. It is also fundamental in forest restoration efforts to ensure that the trees planted today will become the healthy forests of tomorrow.
- Trees provide nutrition all-year-round
Forest foods – wild fruits, nuts, vegetables, mushrooms, and animal products – contribute to global food security. They help maintain household nutrition and provide a lifeline to rural populations especially between harvests or during extreme weather events like extended droughts when food can be scarce. Yet many of these trees are under threat.
Planting trees are more important than ever post Covid, 2022 and beyond because we have seen climate change affecting the most vulnerable in the most devastating ways. We need to all come together to take eco-action now.
Every Treewaii NFT plants and stewards one tree for 10 years. We hope you join us in our goal of planting & growing 10 million trees by 2030.
Cited Src: Biodiversity Types: Genetic, Species and Ecological Diversity – YourArticleLibrary.com, OneTreePlanted.org