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Disturbance impacts on Boreal Forest function

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Term paper: The boreal forest is one of the largest ecosystems on our planet. It spans the entire earth from east to west and is called the polar region, covering the lands of North America, Europe, and Asia. The boreal forest accounts for about 33% of the world's forest area and 14% of the world (NRCAN 2017). Canada's boreal forest covers 75% of our forest area, which drives the demand for human activities in these areas, which in turn increases human disturbance in these areas. Natural resources are the key to the Canadian economy and the well-being of Canadian citizens. Many of these resources are found in the boreal forests that are causing disturbance. Forestry, oil and gas exploration, agricultural development, and wetland drainage are all human disturbances that affect the natural cycle of northern forests. These man-made disturbances complement many of the natural disturbance processes that promote the boreal forest cycle, including fires, droughts, and pests. The over-harvesting and over-use of northern forest resources have had a long-term negative impact on the health of these areas, and will eventually lead to the exhaustion of the resources we use in our daily lives. A study on the impact of forest fires in northern Alberta on water bodies shows that these fires have caused serious damage to the development of the northern forest ecosystem. Since elevated levels of phosphorus were found in the waters surrounding fire-damaged areas, it has been discussed that this means that phosphorus retention levels are lower in those areas disturbed by the fire (McEachern et al., 2000). A proper assessment of the land and waters of the northern forest areas that may be affected by oil and gas exploration is needed to further understand how the development of these resources affects the overall health of the area. Understanding that these industrial activities do affect more than the emissions we generate, so it’s important to understand how they affect other important parts of this ecosystem. How do these different interferences affect each other? When the northern forest area is under pressure from man-made or natural disturbances, these disturbances are related to each other through appropriate positive feedback mechanisms. When pressure is applied to the system, the pressure sources in the forest system will react naturally. For example, when a forest fire occurs, there will be a natural regeneration period, using nutrients added to the soil after combustion. Lots of organic materials. However, as human interference increases, such as clearing cutting or oil and gas, fires will recover and occur at different rates. For example, in the case of clearing forest land, these fires will take longer to recover because the organic matter is removed, otherwise these organic matter will become the basis for new growth Read Less