February 16, 2023 The vast ecosystem of life in the forest might surprise you. While we easily see the trees in the forest, we rarely stop and think about why those trees are essential to a biodiverse ecosystem. As we dig in for a better understanding, we can also learn to appreciate the enormity of life in the forest. What is a Biodiverse Ecosystem? Beginning with simple definitions, a biodiverse ecosystem is an ecological area that requires and maintains a variety of life in many forms to function healthily and productively. Biodiversity is a mix of plants and wildlife working together in a particular area. A truly healthy ecosystem provides the necessities of food, shelter, air and water, so everything within the ecosystem can thrive. In a healthy, biodiverse ecosystem, flora and fauna are the mainstays of life. Flora refers to plant life like grasses, trees, bushes and shrubs, while fauna covers animal life, right down to grubs and earthworms and, of course, trees. Why Do We Need a Biodiverse Ecosystem? When we have biodiversity in an ecosystem, each organism, from the tiniest fly to the tallest redwood, gives and takes to maintain the life and health of themselves and others. However, no single ecosystem can provide for every species and all conditions. For example, what survives in the Northwoods of Alaska could never survive in the tropics of Central America. Conversely, you won’t see tropical fruit and anaconda snakes in the arctic, but you will find both in South America. Forests exist worldwide and are home to most wildlife, including about 68% of mammals, 80% of amphibians and 75% of bird species. Varying needs for light and soil are part of why we need so many different ecosystems to provide nutrition, protection and life to the various living things therein. Why Tree Choice is Essential to a Biodiverse Ecosystem Trees play an important role in an ecosystem, and it’s necessary to understand their contribution to their homes to be sure each type is sustained. What makes trees so vital? First, they provide oxygen and consume carbon dioxide so we can breathe. Trees reduce air pollution and provide food and shelter for living things within their area. In addition, trees reduce the wearing away of soil due to weather, use and terrain. They anchor the soil and absorb and hold onto the rain, limiting erosion. Finally, trees provide shade and shelter to the many flora and fauna within, protecting them from weather and predators. Trees also contribute to the economy by providing wood, flowers, environmental protection and pleasure. In addition, homes with plenty of shade have lower cooling costs, as the shade protects them from the sun, and they lower heating costs by providing a wind break. Finally, trees are beautiful to look at and bring relaxation and peace to many. The above doesn’t even come close to covering all the reasons trees are so vital but it is telling of many reasons to replace and protect trees of all varieties. Conclusively, trees are essential for healthy ecosystems and humans alike for their ability to maintain life worldwide. Front Range Arborists is a full-service tree and shrub care company serving Colorado Springs and the surrounding area. We provide services to residential, commercial, and municipal institutions, including tree trimming, removal, pruning, preservation, fire mitigation, pest control services and more. Schedule your free consultation for any of your tree care needs today!