Forests consist of different layers. They provide a mosaic of habitats and enable animals and wildlife to settle into various pockets of habitat within the overall structure of a forest. Different species use the various structural aspects of the forest in their own unique ways. While trees are the dominant form of vegetation, forest is much more. Mature forests often have several distinct vertical layers.
Forest floor layer: The forest floor is often blanketed with decaying leaves, twigs, fallen trees, animal scat, moss, and other detritus. The forest floor is where recycling occurs, fungi, insects, bacteria, and earthworms are among the many organisms that break down waste materials and ready them for reuse and recycling throughout the forest system.
Herb layer: The herb layer of the forest is dominated by herbaceous (or soft-stemmed) plants such as grasses, ferns, wildflowers, and other ground covers. Vegetation in the herb layer often gets little light and in forests with thick canopies, shade tolerant species are predominant in the herb layer
Shrub layer: The shrub layer is characterized by woody vegetation that grows relatively close to the ground. Bushes and brambles grow where enough light passes through the canopy to support shrub growth.
Understory layer: The understory of a forest consists of immature trees and small trees that are shorter than the main canopy level of the tree. Understory trees provide shelter for a wide range of animals. When gaps form in the canopy, often times understory trees take advantage of the opening and grow to fill in the canopy.
Canopy layer: The canopy is the layer where the crowns of most of the forest’s trees meet and form a thick layer.
Emergent layer: Emergents are trees whose crowns emerge above the rest of the canopy. Forests are constantly changing and progress through a series of stages during which species composition changes within the forest. Despite the variability of our planet’s forests, there are some basic structural characteristics that forests share.
How much oxygen produces a 100 year old beech in 1 hour?
Trees, like all green plants, use sunlight as energy source for processing carbon dioxide and water into organic connections, which are relevant for grows and the energy management. During this process oxygen is released.
This process is called photosyntheses. The gas exchange happens through tiny openings in the leafs. The tree absorbs carbon dioxide and releases oxygen.
A 100 year old beech has about 600 000 leafs. Would those be placed next to each other, they would cover. An area of about 1 200 m2. This results in 1700 g oxygen per hour.