A forest ecosystem is defined as a natural woodland unit consisting of all plants, animals and biotic components. Forests are one of the Earth’s most important ecosystems and promote and regenerate life in ways that we are only recently coming to understand. Besides their many known ecological contributions, forests help to purify air and water, sustain animals and other plant species and regulate meteorological patterns.
Although resilient, forest ecosystems are under constant threat from development, climate change, disease and wildfires. Forest ecology study participants will learn about what factors contribute and detract from forest health, how to measure and record air, water and soil quality, and how to trace endemic and invasive species populations. Instruction is given in industry-standard data collection and recording techniques including sampling, quadrat use and biodiversity calculations.