Trees – The Care Takers of Our Planet

Ranchi: Trees are the lungs of our planet. They are complementary to all other living beings such as human beings and even animals. Humans breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide while plants and trees take in carbon dioxide and give out oxygen. Human beings and trees cannot live without each other. Trees are important for our survival so it is our duty and responsibility to protect and plant trees. We should take tree planting very seriously. Tree planting should be done scientifically. Our environment follows the process of natural selection. According to Darwin’s Theory nature selects the best adapted and eliminates the ill-adapted. Nature dictates; nature tells – who should be and who should not be.  Think of this at the world level. There is the Equator and there is land above the equator and below the equator. 8 degrees north and 8 degrees south of the equator are important as the sun visits this part of earth more than the others. This has the ozone layer and it is called the doldrums. As you go further up north or down south of the equator the heat reduces. The equatorial regionhas tropical forests. Since we are in the doldrum belt the bio diversity is rich.

Bio diversity is the number of species of plants, animals, insects and birds. As we go further away from the equator the bio diversity decreases. The region on both sides of the tropical region is known as the sub-tropical region. Diversity is very important because different species have to interact with each other. This interaction between different species of living beings such as animals and plants and non-living things such as heat and water is called the ecosystem concept. This leads to a concept of a food chain whereby once species eats another creating an energy flow every species has a biological role an ecological role in the ecosystem, i.e. eating a fruit and dropping the seed somewhere is an ecological role, where as being eaten by another specie is a biological role.

The presence of diversity is important for the ecosystem to be stable and sustainable. If any component of this system is removed it will create a lacuna. For example when sandal wood trees are cut birds and organisms dependent on them for food and shelter are displaced. In continuation insects dependent on them which help in pollination and providing fertility to the earth are also displaced. Micro-organisms also suffer and this is how species get wiped out.

The number of species per area or per unit area is constant in a particular place is constant. In a particular area if there should be certain number of plants nature will only allow that many to survive through self-thinning. Vegetation and diversity also vary according to altitude and temperature. There is a comfort zone for every species where it gives maximum output. They may survive in different conditions but will be able to attain maximum output in the comfort zone their ideal temperature and altitude. For example Himalayas have alpine trees, whereas mangos grow only in tropical temperatures. It is our responsibility to protect plants and vegetation it is also our responsibility to plant trees to protect our environment. However we should keep in mind the factors explain and consult environmental experts and plant trees judiciously. Planting trees in the right way will ensure that we contribute to the environment positively and create a better planet in the years to come.