Forest ecosystems face pressures from many natural and human stressors, such as invasive species, agricultural production, and climate change. These pressures result in reduced native diversity and fragmented forests, which restrict the movement of plants and animals, and degraded ecosystems that are less suitable for biodiversity.
Trees and forests are one of the most vital responses we have to address climate change by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing it in the form of wood and vegetation, a process termed “carbon sequestration.”
A priority for the Forests and Treed Swamps Working Group is engage in actions to increase forest health within the Priority Place. A portion of the funding provided by Environment and Climate Change Canada – Canadian Wildlife Service will be used by this collaborative group to plant trees to increase forest cover and improve habitat.
One goal of the tree planting is to increase forest connectivity. Landscape connectivity broadly refers to the degree to which the landscape facilitates or impedes movement among resource patches. By identifying areas of low forest connectivity, the Working Group can plant native tree species to enhance connectivity and allow increased and easier movement of organisms between forested areas. This is an important factor for maintaining biodiversity.
Planting native tree species is also useful for increasing interior forest cover forest diversity. Interior forests provide unique habitat favored by many important plants and animals since it is more secluded and less vulnerable than forest edges which are close to developed or agricultural land. By increasing forest cover and native tree diversity in interior forest areas, the Forests and Treed Swamps Working Group can help increase biodiversity and improve the functioning of these important forest ecosystems.