A forest is much more then just trees – it is a complex mix of plants, animals and micro-organisms that depend on one another for survival. In the space of 200 years Australia has managed to clear half the continents total forests. In doing so over 4000 species of plant and animal have become extinct or threatened.
“…more Australian mammals have become extinct then on any other continent on Earth.” (SOSE textbook)
As of the year 2000 less then 5% of Australia was protected as National Park. The preservation and sustainability of forests is an ongoing debate with no clear, easy answer for overcoming the problem. A sensible solution can only be developed when a thorough investigation is made into the threats forests are faced with, how forest timber is used and the types of forests including their complex ecosystems within. It is only then that a solution for sustainable forest management can be made. (SOSE textbook)
Threats to forest ecosystems
There are several different actions which are threatening to forests and there complex ecosystems.
Fire. Recently speculation has arisen over the impact of global warming and its threat to forest ecosystems. One opinion is that global warming has intensified the severity risk of bushfires by creating weather conditions which allow for more intense fires that cause more damage on forest ecosystems.
“Global warming may already be creating weather conditions that increase the intensity of bushfires.” (Warnings from the bush)
“…hot, dry and windy summers in the 'southern mesic' rainfall zone of southern Australia mean that bushfires there are often intense and difficult to control” (Fire in Australia’s Forests)
In the summer season of 2001/2002 NSW recorded forest fires in forty four national parks, the intensity of these fires threatened many plant and animal species. Prior to this season the last intense fire faced by the Royal National Park was in 1994 in which the Banksia plant was almost completely wiped out,...