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FOREST ECOLOGY. DELAWARE HAS 355,00 ACRES OF FORESTED LAND! Approx. 5,000 acres of timber are harvested annually. Delaware’s forest products industries.

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Presentation on theme: "FOREST ECOLOGY. DELAWARE HAS 355,00 ACRES OF FORESTED LAND! Approx. 5,000 acres of timber are harvested annually. Delaware’s forest products industries."— Presentation transcript:


2 DELAWARE HAS 355,00 ACRES OF FORESTED LAND! Approx. 5,000 acres of timber are harvested annually. Delaware’s forest products industries provide an excess of 3,700 jobs and generate an estimated annual wage of $98,000,000.

3 Delaware’s three state forests- totaling over 15,000 acres. providing Delawareans the opportunity for hiking, hunting, fishing, bicycling, and horseback riding. that are sustainably managed for wildlife habitat, wood products, watershed protection, education, and recreation.


5 the study of the complex interactions between the LIVING (biotic) and NONLIVING (abiotic) elements of a forest ecosystem. FOREST ECOLOGY

6 Biotic (living) components of the Forest Ecosystem PRODUCERS all green plants, trees, shrubs along with some bacteria, also known as an autotrophs. These organisms can manufacture their own food using energy from the Sun. CONSUMERS organisms that eat plants and animals also known as herbivores and carnivores DECOMPOSERS bacteria, fungi, insects, or other organisms that break down organic material.

7 There are over 346 species of wildlife living in Delaware of which 273 are forest dependent.

8 Healthy forests provide quality habitat for wildlife spotted salamander spotted turtle screech owl flying squirrel box turtle

9 Animals and insects have a huge role in the forest. 1.decomposers breakdown organic matter 2.daily activity helps fertilize and aerate the soil 3.many serve as pollinators and seed dispersers 4.predators control harmful insects and mammals

10 Animals and insects can also become a nuisance or serious threat to a natural setting. excessive deer browsing on a forest’s seed crop squirrels and white footed mice girdle the trunks of young trees. insects may reach a population that require large acres of tree to be removed

11 Abiotic (non-living) components of the Forest Ecosystem Soil Water Climate Sunlight Slope of land


13 The sequence of consumption and energy transfer though the environment is shown in a FOOD CHAIN. The organisms position in the food chain is known as its TROPHIC LEVEL.


15 Energy pyramids show Producer organisms represent the greatest amount of living tissue or biomass at the bottom of the pyramid. On average, each feeding level only contains 10% of the energy as the one below it, with the energy that is lost mostly being transformed to heat. It takes a large number of producers to support a small number of primary consumers It takes a large number of primary consumers to support a small number of secondary consumers

16 Food Webs

17 All trees compete for the same basic requirement of life – light, water, essential elements, oxygen, and other necessities. The limiting factor in a forest ecosystem is SUNLIGHT. Competition in the forest

18 Symbiosis - living together of two dissimilar organisms, where one or the other, or both are affected. Usually involves supply of: food protection cleaning transportation or all of the above

19 Mutualism is any relationship between two species of organisms that benefits both species.

20 Commensalism is a relationship between two species where one species derives a benefit from the relationship and the second species is unaffected by it.

21 Parasitism is a relationship between two species where one species benefits and the other is injured. Plants are parasitized by viruses, bacteria, fungi, nematodes, and a few other plants.

22 Allelopathy involves a plant's secretion of biochemical materials into the environment to inhibit germination or growth of surrounding vegetation. Allelopathy enhances tree survival and reproduction.

23 THE ONLY THING CONSTANT ABOUT FOREST ECOSYSTEMS— THEY NEVER STOP CHANGING! NATURAL CHANGES fire, storms, drought, flood, death and disease MAN-MADE CHANGES harvesting, farming, trails, development, and recreation

24 SUCESSION Changes or disturbances spark the process called succession, the gradual change in plants and animal communities over time. – Primary succession occurs in an area that has no true soil. Pioneer species are the first plants to grow at these barren sites. – Secondary succession occurs on landscapes where the natural vegetation has been removed or destroyed but the soil remains intact.



27 Intolerant Species Intolerant species are generally the “first in” after an event such as a clear-cut or a major fire that substantially opens the canopy. These trees are often called pioneer species. These trees tend to: - be fast growing - be short-lived - have light seeds Sweetgum leaf

28 Tolerant Species These trees normally are not the first to colonize open areas. Instead, they grow up into an existing canopy. Usually, these trees are found in the “climax community.” These trees tend to: - live a long time - grow slowly - have heavier seeds Beech nut

29 How does succession first begin in a disturbed area? bird droppings animals carry seeds in fur wind blown seeds existing seed bank in soil gets the needed sunlight floods or high rains will leave behind seeds

30 Succession is healthy for a forest : to better able to withstand and recover from stress the outside environment imposes. by increasing the forest’s biodiversity allowing other species to grow.

31 Biodiversity is the variety and complexity of species that are present and that interact in an ecosystem, plus the relative abundance of each. One of the biggest threats to biodiversity… One of Earth’s most valuable resources:

32 Invasive Species Insects Diseases Plants

33 Invasives often demonstrate: rapid growth prolific seed production high seed germination rates easy asexual propagation resistance to many types of control

34 Many plants were that are now considered invasives where introduced to this area intentionally for their medicinal, ornamental, and food value. Sometimes they “hitched a ride” in the soil, crop seeds or the ballasts of ships.

35 SILVICULTURE is the application of the principles of forest ecology to a stand of trees to help meet specified objectives. – Objectives can include income, wildlife habitat, water quality, recreation, or any other values a forest is capable of providing.

36 How do we DO silviculture? 1.Determine your goals for your forest. 2.Evaluate existing conditions in the forest. 3.Decide what treatments, if any, can help you reach your goals. 4.Implement treatments at the right time.

37 To cut or not to cut…. Your management goals and the shade tolerances of the species involved will determine whether to manage on an even-aged or uneven-aged basis. A Rule of Thumb:  For intolerant species, even-aged management is best.  Use uneven-aged management for tolerant species.

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