NY State Envirothon Forestry Study Guide

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forestyThe forestry station will focus on forests as ecosystems in New York State. Students will be expected to have a basic understanding of forested ecosystems, how they function and change over time, their role in a watershed, and why they are valuable resources.

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In general, the word forestry means the propagation and management of forest trees for commercial harvest. This include the planting and management of exotic (nonnative) species, the existing native forest, and the genetic improvement of trees for selected characteristics, such as straight and rapid growth.

Forestry also means the scientific study of tree growth, management, and timber production systems. The term forestry probably evokes visions of loggers, tree farms, and large tracts of woodlands.

National forests provide vital ecosystem services, such as habitat for wildlife and native plants, act as water reservoirs and filters, take up carbon dioxide, release oxygen, and regenerate precious soil. In addition to ecosystem services, forests also provide humans with lumber, recreation areas, and aesthetic value. Forests store large amounts of carbon dioxide that might otherwise contribute to global warming, in the form of wood.
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