Tree forests cover approximately 9.4 percent of the Earth's surface (or 30 percent of total land area), though they once covered much more (about 50 percent of total land area). They function as habitats for organisms, hydrologic flow modulators, and soil conservers, constituting one of the most important aspects of the biosphere.But it has been significantly harmed by human for all purposes.What the future forests will be like? Researchers from Forest Ressearch Institute of Zvolen made a guess in the paper published in American Journal of Plant Sciences:
In this paper, we briefly summarize the problems that have been affecting Slovakian forestry in the past, in the present and are expected in the future. In the past, the forests in Central Europe were significantly harmed by the development of mining, metallurgy, wood processing industry, agriculture and grazing of sheep and cattle. Many areas have been completely deforested. Fundamental change occurred in the 18th Century, when the regulations about forest management, declared by Empress of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy Maria Therese, came into force. With the changing level of forest cover, there have been changing as well the problems in the forestry. Forests in Slovakia are nowadays dealing with the climate change, which is causing extreme weather fluctuations. It is connected with the emergence of abiotic disturbances after which usually occurs activation of biotic harmful agents. We expect that the most serious problem of forests in the future will be their state of health. We expect an increase representation of thermophilic tree species (beech and oak) at the expense of upland trees such as spruce. An important role will be played by the invasive species of plants, fungi and animals that can compete with native species and their habitats or in the situation of the absence of their reducents these can cause serious economic and environmental damage.
(source:SCIRP/ Plant Sciences)