librium with its climate by considering paleocological studies concerned with the effects of climate change to ancient forests as well as more recent studies of the ;problem of global warming and its effects on temperate forests. Do temperate forests exhibit stability in terms of cover, biodiversity and function in the carbon cycle? What is causing temperate forests to decline if it is indeed in equilibrium with climate?
The article “Forests and climate change” (FAO Corporate Document Repository) states that forests serve an important function in the environmental balance as a carbon pool. A carbon pool is the storage area where carbon dioxide is released or stored. The rate of exchange normally depends on the life cycle of the forest elements. Ideally, the forests are in a state of a perpetual carbon sink, which is defined as a system in which there is more carbon going in than out.
Equally admirable is when the amount of carbon absorbed from the atmosphere is equal to the amount of carbon released back into the environment. Unfortunately, especially since the Industrial revolution, this balance has been upset to an increasing degree until the effects of the climate system imbalance has become too severe to be ignored.
There have been several efforts in limiting, and hopefully eventually eradicating, this imbalance, with minimal success. One of the more seemingly ecologically correct notions is to implement forest management policies to preserve existing forests and to extend its area through afforestation.
Dudley states the preservation of the old temperate forests would be of benefit to the ecology. However, he further implies that the establishment of newer, faster-growing but ecologically unfit forests would be detrimental to the cause of ecological salvaging.
Temperate forests are found mainly in western and central Europe, the eastern side of North America and northeastern Asia. These are scattered all over the middle and high latitudes although