Why the woods are called green lungs

Why the woods are called green lungs

The woods cover significant areas of the planet, forming the steady ecosystems differing in a variety of plant species and animals. The unique ability of trees to produce oxygen necessary for existence of living organisms, gives to scientists-ecologists and fighters for preservation of the environment the right to call the woods "green lungs of the planet".


1. Trees and other plant species with which the woods are rich in the course of photosynthesis form organic matter. For this purpose of a plant use the carbon absorbed from the atmosphere. After processing, carbon dioxide is acquired by trees, and in the atmosphere oxygen is emitted. The carbon connected in the course of photosynthesis goes for construction of organisms of plants and also is returned to the environment together with the dying-off parts – branches, foliage and bark.

2. During all the life the plant uses the certain amount of carbon commensurable with a volume of the oxygen emitted in the atmosphere. In other words, how many molecules of carbon are acquired by an adult plant, as much oxygen the planet received. A part of the carbon connected by trees goes to other parts of a forest ecosystem – to the soil which fell down foliage and needles, the dried branches and rhizomes.

3. When the tree perishes, the return process is started: the decaying wood takes oxygen from the atmosphere, emitting back carbon dioxide. The same phenomena are observed also during wildfires or at combustion of wood as fuel. For this reason so important to protect green plantings from premature death and from pernicious fire exposure.

4. The role of forest ecosystems in life of the planet is defined by the speed of accumulation of organic matter. If this process goes rapidly, in the atmosphere oxygen collects and the amount of carbon dioxide decreases. If the balance moves in the opposite direction, "green easy planets" perform the function on saturation of the atmosphere oxygen worse.

5. Would be a mistake to consider that only the young woods in which trees intensively grow are an oxygen source on the planet, absorbing carbon dioxide. Of course, any ecosystem at some point reaches the maturity period when in it balance between the interconnected processes of absorption of carbon dioxide and release of oxygen is created. But also very ripe wood where the percent of old trees is high, continues the invisible work on providing the atmosphere with oxygen though already and not so intensively.

6. Live trees – the main, but not the only component of a forest ecosystem where the organic chemistry can collect. For processes of production of oxygen have essential value the soil with its organic matter and also a forest laying which is formed of parts of the dying-off plants. Such variety of components of an ecological system allows to maintain stable equilibrium in the exchange processes happening in the "green lungs" so necessary for maintenance of life on the planet.

Author: «MirrorInfo» Dream Team