Importance Of Biodiversity in Forest Plantations

Importance Of Biodiversity in Forest Plantations

It is fairly evident to us that plants, especially forest trees, are quite intelligent beings in themselves. Their physiological processes function in a life supporting way, and without them, life on earth would cease to exist. But there is more to it. New research has suggested that plants too can communicate within themselves and with other organisms. Now, their communication is obviously not verbal like us humans, but it works in the most effective way. According to several researches, it was known that trees communicate via visual, olfactory and electrical signals which travel in a form of nerve cells at root tips. The roots of trees extend a long way below the ground, sometimes twice the spread of the crown. In a natural forest, the roots of trees eventually intersect. This is how the trees contact each other. Moreover, forest soils are enriched with thin fungal filaments called “hyphae”, which penetrate the ground and act as a medium of exchange of information between trees. These hyphae create an internet-like connection within the forest vegetation, and this helps the trees to share information about insects, drought and other dangers. For example, when Acacia spp. are being attacked by insects, they release pheromones and ethylene gas, which signals the other Acacia trees to release toxins in leaves to combat the predators. This saves tremendous damage and loss among forest trees. Dr. Suzanne Simard, the forester who first discovered this, gave the forest network a term called “Wood Wide Web”.
Now the thing is, if a plant is not in the forest network, i.e. if it is isolated, it is not able to get any necessary information regarding its defense and as a result, they are more likely to get damaged first. This is exactly why artificial plantations are more susceptible to insect attacks than natural ones. It is because we are growing plants in monoculture, without any biodiversity, and it is the reason why farmers need tons of insecticides and pesticides for the crops. This is affecting negatively not only the environment, but the economic burden of the farmers. As the global population rises and the demand of forest produce is sky-rocketing, a critical and necessary step to takeis to introduce more biodiversity in plantations, and let the forest crops grow in a more natural environment, so that they can “talk” their problems out. For unlike humanity, nature has always been capable to solve its own problems.

-Manas Shukla



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भारतीय संस्कृति में प्रकृति का महत्व एवं वर्तमान परिस्थिति

भारतीय संस्कृति में प्रकृति को अत्यधिक महत्व दिया गया है, समस्त प्रकृति को जीवनदायी माना गया है। यह केवल भावनात्मक

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