Forests are the green lungs of the world, absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. They filter our air, provide drinking water, and help stabilize our climate. They also vary greatly by region, providing a home to a rich diversity of animal, plant, and tree species around the globe. Wherever you find a forest, it’s sure to be a place of beauty, stillness, freshness, and replenishment.
Today, more and more people are discovering the forest as a space in which to recharge their batteries but at the same time, more and more forest areas are being damaged or destroyed by human activity. Global deforestation is not a doom-laden future hypothesis, but a reality. Every year, forest areas the size of Austria are lost to the cultivation of crops, livestock, and the expansion of cities and infrastructure.
This book is a tribute to and exploration of forests at a time when we urgently need to understand and protect them. It explores different forest types and their development according to local climate and soil conditions. It takes us deep into the Amazonian rain forest and looks at why this area is both particularly precious and highly vulnerable to damage. It maps the largest contiguous forest areas and examines why a mixed forest is more resilient than a monoculture.
A rich source of information for all those concerned with the natural world, climate change, and environmental protection, this illustrated book is also a beautiful immersion in the arboreal refuges of our planet. From the vibrancy of the tropics and subtropics to the mythical deciduous forests of Europe and the vast boreal coniferous breadth that stretches over the northern hemisphere, this is a vital journey through the precious green ecosystems around the globe.
Gunther Willinger is a biologist, science journalist, and photographer. His core subject is the relationship between man and nature: from our yearning for wilderness to the development of agriculture and forestry. Forests fascinate him with their beauty and the unbelievable abundance of interconnected life forms. In addition to the forest landscapes of his European home, he knows the forests of Costa Rica, California, and South Africa from longer stays abroad. He lives with his wife and two sons in Tübingen, Germany.