What are forest plants?

What are forest plants

At some point you may have heard of forest plants and you are not very clear about what it is about. In reality, this is an artificial categorization created by humans, because the concept of forest plantation does not refer to any specific type of plant or any plant family.

But it is worth taking an approach to this concept and understanding what we mean when we mention forest plants.

What are forest plants

What are forest plants

All those varieties that are present in forests in which trees are the main protagonists have this consideration. Their main characteristic is that they are varieties different from each other that have been planted by the hand of man.

In most cases, these plantations are carried out for commercial purposes, to be able to carry out forest exploitation work and obtain raw materials such as wood or cork.

Characteristics of forest plants

Characteristics of forest plants

In order to survive in a habitat that includes different plant species, These plants have had to evolve.

Shade adaptations

It is common for different types of forest plants, especially small ones, to develop tolerance to the absence of sunlight. dThat's why many of them have large, thin leaves. to better capture the little light they can access.

Tolerance for competition

Depending on the density of the forest and the climatic conditions to which it is subjected, plants will have to compete more or less with each other to access water, light and nutrients.

These types of plants have developed strategies that allow them to compete effectively with the rest. For example, rapid growth to better reach light, or the development of very deep roots to obtain water and nutrients.

Effective breeding strategies

In such a competitive environment, forest plants have developed reproduction systems that allow them to colonize new forest areas quickly and easily. As the spread of small seeds through the air, or the production of fleshy fruits that attract animals that are responsible for dispersing their seeds.

Species diversity

As we mentioned before, forests are home to a large number of forest plant species. This includes:

  • Trees.
  • Shrubbery.
  • Herbs and herbaceous plants.
  • Climbing and epiphytic plants.

Importance in the ecosystem

Importance in the ecosystem

What the varieties that make up a forest plantation have in common is that they play a fundamental role in the maintenance of these ecosystems. Providing food, shelter and habitat to a significant number of organisms, and naturally contributing to regulating the water cycle, improving soil stability and capturing carbon in the atmosphere.

forest trees

Among the forest plants, trees stand out especially, destined mainly for logging.

Roble

It is a large tree, but its growth is quite slow and it has a very long life expectancy. It is one of the most common in forestry operations, because its wood is highly appreciated due to its resistance and hardness.

conifers

The different varieties of pines that are part of the conifer family are very common in forest plantations, because their wood is highly appreciated in the manufacture of furniture of medium quality.

Rubber tree

This tree native to the Amazon It has the peculiarity that it can be exploited without having to cut it down. It is enough to extract its sap to obtain a raw material that It is then used in the manufacture of different types of rubber and latex.

It is a very resistant species and capable of reaching a great height in a short time. In addition, it can resist drought, and that allows its adaptation to forests in different parts of the world.

Forest Shrubs

Forest shrubs are woody plants that are usually medium in size. We differentiate them from trees not only because of their size, but also because they have multiple stems growing from the base, and not just one as is the case with trees.

These plants play an important role in the forest ecosystem, improving soil structure. Additionally, they have a high capacity for regeneration, allowing forests that have been burned, logging or plagued to quickly show signs of new life.

Some of the most common types of shrub-type forest plants are rhododendrons, hollies, heathers, laurels and azaleas.

Herbs and herbaceous plants

Although they are usually ptake less attention than trees and bushes, herbs and herbaceous plants are also forest plants. Of them we can highlight the following:

  • They have adapted to the understory and can live in shady conditions. To do this, they have large, thin leaves.
  • Its life cycle is perennial in some cases and annual in other varieties.
  • The decomposition of its leaves, stems and roots provides a large amount of organic matter to the soil that benefits the rest of the plants.
  • Their presence or absence in the forest can serve as an indication of its health.

Examples of herbs and herbaceous plants typical of forest plantations are ferns, mosses, violets, lily of the valley and bulbous plants such as narcissus and hyacinth.

Climbing and epiphytic plants

These species have developed special adaptations that allow them to grow and thrive in highly competitive environments. Precisely for this reason, They are able to climb through the trunk of trees to reach sunlight, or to grow without the need for its roots to be in contact with the soil.

They are tough and very resistant plants among which we find orchids, bromeliads, lianas and vines.

From the largest to the smallest, each and every forest plant is an example of survival in a difficult environment, and contributes to the well-being of ecosystems. At the same time that we They allow us to obtain raw materials as valuable as wood. Therefore, sustainable forest management has become an issue of special importance.


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