Why Native Trees?
The Importance of Trees
For millions of years trees have been critical in maintaining safe levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide on our planet. Trees are the world’s single largest source of breathable oxygen and play a vital role in addressing climate change. They filter air and provide oxygen, conserve soil and water, prevent desertification and protect and stabilise ground cover.
Native trees also assist our agricultural areas to be more sustainable, prevent salinity and soil erosion, provide shade, shelter, food and habitat to native animals. They provide sources of timber for fuel, wood, food, fodder, essential oils, gums, resins and latex, medicines and shade. In other words, the importance of trees can’t be understated.
It has been projected that safeguarding and restoring carbon over the coming decades in our forests, peatlands and agricultural areas may reduce well over 50 gigatonnes (50,000,000,000 tonnes) of carbon emissions that would otherwise enter the atmosphere. Maintaining our forests and restoring our natural landscape will make a real difference in reducing climate change.
Researchers have identified a correlation between widespread land clearing and less rainfall in Western Australia’s Southwest region. This implies that reforestation may well have a positive effect on rainfall.
Native Trees and Biodiversity
The link between climate change and biodiversity has long been established. Rapid climate change affects the ability for many species to adapt. As a variety of species become endangered and extinct, the natural biodiversity decreases.
We now know that mass plantings of a single species of tree doesn’t optimise the reduction of carbon and will do little to restore the natural biodiversity of our landscape. That means all those other benefits will be lost. For more information on the benefits of biodiversity go to Biodiversity Works.