Secondary forest

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A secondary forest (or second-growth forest) is a forest or woodland area which has re-grown after a timber harvest, until a long enough period has passed so that the effects of the disturbance are no longer evident. Secondary forest_sentence_0

It is distinguished from an old-growth forest (primary or primeval forest), which has not recently undergone such disruption, and complex early seral forest, as well as third-growth forests that result from harvest in second growth forests. Secondary forest_sentence_1

Secondary forest regrowing after timber harvest differs from forest regrowing after natural disturbances such as fire, insect infestation, or windthrow because the dead trees remain to provide nutrients, structure, and water retention after natural disturbances. Secondary forest_sentence_2

However, often after natural disturbance the timber is harvested and removed from the system, in which case the system more closely resembles secondary forest rather than complex early seral forest. Secondary forest_sentence_3

Description Secondary forest_section_0

Depending on the forest, the development of primary characteristics may take anywhere from a century to several millennia. Secondary forest_sentence_4

Hardwood forests of the eastern United States, for example, can develop primary characteristics in one or two generations of trees, or 150–500 years. Secondary forest_sentence_5

Often the disruption is the result of human activity, such as logging, but natural phenomena that produce the same effect are often included in the definition. Secondary forest_sentence_6

Secondary forests tend to have trees closer spaced than primary forests and contain less undergrowth than primary forests. Secondary forest_sentence_7

Secondary forests typically were thought to lack biodiversity compared to primary forests, however this has been challenged in recent years. Secondary forest_sentence_8

Usually, secondary forests have only one canopy layer, whereas primary forests have several. Secondary forest_sentence_9

Secondary forestation is common in areas where forests have been lost by the slash-and-burn method, a component of some shifting cultivation systems of agriculture. Secondary forest_sentence_10

Secondary forests may also arise from forest that has been harvested heavily or over a long period of time, forest that is naturally regenerating from fire and from abandoned pastures or areas of agriculture. Secondary forest_sentence_11

It takes a secondary forest typically forty to 100 years to begin to resemble the original old-growth forest; however, in some cases a secondary forest will not succeed, due to erosion or soil nutrient loss in certain tropical forests. Secondary forest_sentence_12

Secondary forests re-establish by the process of succession. Secondary forest_sentence_13

Openings created in the forest canopy allow sunlight to reach the forest floor. Secondary forest_sentence_14

An area that has been cleared will first be colonized by pioneer species. Secondary forest_sentence_15

Even though some species loss may occur with primary forest removal, a secondary forest can protect the watershed from further erosion and provides habitat. Secondary forest_sentence_16

Secondary forests may also buffer edge effects around mature forest fragments and increase connectivity between them. Secondary forest_sentence_17

They may also be a source of wood and other forest products. Secondary forest_sentence_18

Today most of the forest of the United States, the eastern part of North America and Europe consist of secondary forest. Secondary forest_sentence_19

Rainforests Secondary forest_section_1

In the case of semi-tropical rainforests, where soil nutrient levels are characteristically low, the soil quality may be significantly diminished following the removal of primary forest. Secondary forest_sentence_20

In Panama, growth of new forests from abandoned farmland exceeded loss of primary rainforest in 1990. Secondary forest_sentence_21

However, due to the diminished quality of soil, among other factors, the presence of a significant majority of primary forest species fail to recover in these second-growth forests. Secondary forest_sentence_22

See also Secondary forest_section_2

Secondary forest_unordered_list_0


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secondary forest.