Unit III Article Critique
SOC 2010, Cultural Geography
Columbia Southern University
Unit III Article Critique
The article I am critiquing was on the topic of forest restoration, biodiversity and ecosystem
functioning. The article provides an overview of important considerations related to forest restoration that can be inferred from the biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF)-perspective. The BEF-approach provides a useful framework to evaluate forest restoration in an ecosystem functioning context, but it also highlights that much remains to be understood, especially regarding the relation between forest functioning on the one side and genetic diversity and above-ground-below-ground species associations on the other, (Aerts & Honnay, 2011). The topic of forest restoration and biodiversity is important due to its ability to provide its ecosystem services such as the provisioning, regulating, cultural, and supporting services.
In the beginning or review portion of this article it starts with an astounding fact that globally forests cover nearly one third of the land and contain over 80% of terrestrial biodiversity, (Aerts & Honnay, 2011). It goes on to state that the combination of decrease of both forest quantity and quality is projected to lead to massive destruction of many species occupying forest habitats. The next portion of the article discusses the traditional approaches to ecological restoration which are the community approach, the ecosystem approach. After those approaches are reviewed it takes a look at the BEF approach to ecological forest restoration which includes such things as restoring multiple forest functions requiring multiple species, focusing on functional diversity rather than on taxonomic diversity, effects of genetic diversity extending up to the ecosystem level, and synchronizing above- and below-ground biodiversity. The article concludes with a statement saying that the BEF approach provides a useful outline to assess forest restoration in an ecosystem functioning context. It highlights different facets of forest restoration that do not continuously receive adequate consideration in the more traditional approaches to restoration. At the same time the BEF framework challenges us with huge knowledge gaps still existing in restoration science, (Aerts & Honnay, 2011).
How It Relates
This article directly ties into concepts within this week’s reading assignment chapter 4 of Cultural Geography. The portion on land use and environmental impacts in particular, primarily the paragraph on forests. This paragraph explains that deforestation is currently occurring mostly in the world’s rain forests and that the rain forest covers less than half of what it did a few thousand years ago, (Knox & Marston, 2016). The reading went on to inform that the loss of rain forests isn’t just about the loss of trees but also the loss of the biological biodiversity of an ecosystem.
When I first read the assigned reading, I struggled with which area I wanted to cover and what article I wanted to review. I read through many before settling on this one and honestly, I did so because I thought it was a topic that needed more attention shed upon it. I will admit that it was dry in some areas and somewhat over my head in others but some of the facts that were included were astonishing to me. After reading it and digesting it I find myself more concerned in this matter of restoring our forest globally.
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