JENIS - JENIS HUTAN

Banyak ilmuwan yang mengelompokkan hutan berdasarkan variasi sistem ekologi. Hutan dengan iklim, tanah dan kelembaban yang mirip dikelompokkan menjadi 6 kelompok: 1. tropical rain forests 2. tropical seasonal forest 3. temperate deciduous forest 4. temperate evergreen forest 5. boreal forest 6. savanna Hutan hujan tropis tumbuh di dekat garis equator, dimana iklim sepanjang tahun hangat dan basah. Sebagian besar hutan ini tumbuh di lembah sungai Amazon, lembah sungai Kongo, dan di wilayah Asia Tenggara. Dari ke enam kelompok jenis hutan, hutan hujan tropis paling banyak memiliki keragaman pohon, sekitar 100 species bisa tumbuh pada wilayah seluas 2,6 Km2. Sebagian besar pohon berdaun lebar dan selalu hijau sepanjang tahun, terdapat juga pohon palm dan paku-pakuan. Kebanyakan hutan pohonnya membentuk tiga lapisan selubung (canopy). Canopy paling atas dapat mencapai ketinggian 46 meter, tumbuhan yang melebihi canopy di sebut emergent. Tumbuhan understory membentuk lapisan selubung ke dua. Lapisan semak belukar dan tumbuhan herbal sangat tipis karena sinar matahari terhalang oleh lapisan canopy. Seringkali beberapa tanaman merambat dan menumpang lainnya menempel di cabang-cabang pohon lapisan canopy, sehingga dapat menyerap sinar matahari secara penuh. Sebagian besar binatang hutan hujan tropis juga hidup pada lapisan canopy, dimana mereka dapat menemukan makanan yang sangat berlimpah. Binatang yang termasuk diantaranya adalah makhluk terbang dan memanjat seperti kelelawar, berbagai jenis burung, serangga, kadal, tikus, monyet, tupai, kungkang dan ular. Tropical seasonal forest , tumbuh di wilayah tertentu di daerah beriklim tropis dan sub tropis. Wilayah ini memiliki musim panas dan musim hujan bergantian setiap tahunnya, atau iklim yang agak lebih dingin dibanding hutan hujan tropis. Daerah ini meliputi Amerika tengah, Amerika selatan bagian tengah, selatan Afrika, India, timur Cina, Australia utara, dan kepulauan di pasifik termasuk Indonesia. Hutan musim memiliki banyak keragaman pohon, meskipun tidak sebanyak hutan hujan tropis. Terdapat juga beberapa tanaman rambat dan tumpang. Beberapa pohon berguguran dan tumbuh kembali, terutama di daerah yang memiliki perbedaan yang sangat jelas antara musim panas dan musim hujan Lapisan canopy bisa mencapai ketinggian 30 meter. Satu lapisan understory tumbuh dibawah canopy. Bambu dan palem memenuhi lapisan semak, dan lapisan tebal tumbuhan herbal menempel di tanah. Binatang yang tinggal menyerupai, mereka yang hidup di hutan hujan tropis. Hutan luruh iklim sedang tumbuh di sebelah timur Amerika utara, eropa barat dan asia timur. Wilayah ini memiliki musim panas dan musim dingin. Lapisan canopy mencapai ketinggian 30 meter, dua jenis pohon atau lebih mendominasi lapisan canopy, yang berguguran daunnya di musim gugur. Lapisan tengah dan semak mungkin agak tebal. Juga dihuni binatang besar seperti beruang, rusa, dan serigala. Ada juga ratusan binatang menyusui yang lebih kecil dan burung. Temperate evergreen forests. In some temperate regions, the environment favors the growth of evergreen forests. Such forests grow along coastal areas that have mild winters with heavy rainfall. These areas include the northwest coast of North America, the south coast of Chile, the west coast of New Zealand, and the southeast coast of Australia. Temperate evergreen forests also cover the lower mountain slopes in Asia, Europe, and western North America. In these regions, the cool climate favors the growth of evergreen trees. The strata and the plant and animal life vary greatly from one temperate evergreen forest to another. For example, the mountainous evergreen forests of Asia, Europe, and North America are made up of conifers. The coastal forests of Australia and New Zealand, on the other hand, consist of broadleaf evergreen trees. Boreal forests are found in regions that have an extremely cold winter and a short growing season. The word boreal means northern. Vast boreal forests stretch across northern Europe, Asia, and North America. Similar forests also cover the higher mountain slopes on these continents. Boreal forests, which are also called taiga, have the simplest structure of all forest formations. They have only one uneven layer of trees, which reaches up to about 75 feet (23 meters) high. In most of the boreal forests, the dominant trees are needleleaf evergreens--either spruce and fir or spruce and pine. The shrub layer is spotty. However, mosses and lichens form a thick layer on the forest floor and also grow on the tree trunks and branches. There are few herbs. Many small mammals, such as beavers, mice, porcupines, and snowshoe hares, live in the boreal forests. Larger mammals include bears, caribou, foxes, moose, and wolves. Birds of the boreal forests include ducks, loons, owls, warblers, and woodpeckers. Savana adalah suatu daerah yang memiliki pohon dengan jarak luas. Beberapa padang rumput pohon tumbuh dalam satu gerombolan, ada juga yang tumbuh menyendiri. Sebagian besar tanah ditumbuhi oleh semak dan tumbuhan herbal, terutama rumput, sehingga savana disamakan dengan padang rumput. Savana terutama ditemukan diwilayah yang memiliki sedikit curah hujan, tanah yang tidak subur, sering timbul kebakaran, atau hal lain yang menghambat tumbuhnya pohon. Binatang yang hidup di padang rumput diantaranya,kijang ,banteng, jerapah, singa, macan dan zebra. The life of the forest Forests are filled with an incredible variety of plant and animal life. For example, scientists recorded nearly 10,500 kinds of organisms in a deciduous forest in Switzerland. The number of individual plants and animals in a forest is enormous. All life in the forest is part of a complex ecosystem, which also includes the physical environment. Ecologists study forest life by examining the ways in which the organisms interact with one another and their environment. Such interactions involve (1) the flow of energy through the ecosystem, (2) the cycling of essential chemicals within the ecosystem, and (3) competition and cooperation among the organisms. The flow of energy. All organisms need energy to stay alive. In forests, as in all other ecosystems, life depends on energy from the sun. However, only the green plants in the forest can use the sun's energy directly. Through a process called photosynthesis, they use sunlight to produce food. All other forest organisms rely on green plants to capture the energy of sunlight. Green plants are thus the primary producers in the forest. Animals that eat plants are known as primary consumers or herbivores. Animals that eat herbivores are called secondary consumers or predators. Secondary consumers themselves may fall prey to other predators, called tertiary (third) consumers. This series of primary producers and various levels of consumers is known as a food chain. In a typical forest food chain, tree leaves (primary producers) are eaten by caterpillars (primary consumers). The caterpillars, in turn, are eaten by shrews (secondary consumers), which are then eaten by owls (tertiary consumers). Energy, in the form of food, passes from one level of the food chain to the next. But much energy is lost at each level. Therefore, a forest ecosystem can support, in terms of weight, far more green plants than herbivores and far more herbivores than predators. The cycling of chemicals. All living things are made up of certain basic chemical elements. The supply of these chemicals is limited, and so they must be recycled for life to continue. The decomposers of the forest floor play a vital role in chemical recycling. The decomposers include bacteria, earthworms, fungi, some insects, and certain single-celled organisms. Decomposers obtain food by breaking down dead plants and the wastes and dead bodies of animals into their basic chemicals. The elements pass into the soil, where they are absorbed by the roots of growing plants. Without decomposition, the supply of such essential elements as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium would soon be exhausted. Some chemical recycling does not involve decomposers. Green plants, for example, release oxygen during photosynthesis. Animals--and plants as well--need this chemical to oxidize (burn) food and so release energy. In the oxidation process, animals and plants give off carbon dioxide, which the green plants need for photosynthesis. Thus the cycling of oxygen and carbon dioxide works together and maintains a steady supply of the two chemicals. Competition and cooperation. Every forest animal and plant must compete with individuals of its own and similar species for such necessities as nutrients, space, and water. For example, red squirrels in a boreal forest must compete with one another--and with certain other herbivores--for conifer seeds, their chief food. Similarly, the conifers compete with one another and with other types of plants for water and sunlight. This competition helps ensure that the organisms best adapted to the forest will survive and reproduce. Cooperation among the organisms of the forest is common. For many species, cooperation is necessary for survival. For example, birds and mammals that eat fruit rely on plants for food. But the plants, in turn, may depend on these animals to help spread their seeds. Similarly, certain microscopic fungi grow on roots of trees. The fungi obtain food from the tree, but they also help the tree absorb needed water and nutrients.

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