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Environmental problems of Northern Eurasia

Deforestation and Degradation of Forests

<<< The History and Scale of Deforestation | Environmental Problems Index | Commercial Exploitation of Forests >>>

Classification of Forest Resources

In the countries of the FSU, three main systems of forest classification are used, based on: (I) species; (II) age characteristics; and (III) degree of depletion and protection. While detailed botanical classifications of forests are available (Chapters 9 and 10), with respect to industrial practices trees are divided into softwood and hardwood. Evergreen conifers and larch are classified as softwood, while deciduous species are classified as hardwood. The classification based on age of stands recognizes the following classes: young (under 20 years), juvenile and average (20-60), and mature and over mature stands (over 60 years). The last group is exploited commercially.

With respect to availability of forests and a need for their protection, forests, and woodlands of Northern Eurasia are subdivided into: (I) protected forests and woodlands which include nature reserves, national parks, greenbelts, and riparian zones; (II) forests and woodlands which occur in densely populated areas and regions with limited timber resources; and (III) forests, which apart from other functions, are intended for commercial production of wood. Felling is prohibited in the forests of the first group except for beneficial cutting which is carried out for overmature stands, trees infected with insects and fungi, and for windfalls. In the forests of the second group, fellings should not exceed the calculated allowable cut (CAC). The third group is the largest and includes about 90 per cent of all forests of Northern Eurasia.

<<< The History and Scale of Deforestation | Environmental Problems Index | Commercial Exploitation of Forests >>>



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