We already knew that rainforests are not only tropical ecosystems. But when you live in the tropics, you can forget. Our thanks as always to Patrick Greenfield, and to the Guardian, for this reminder:
Exclusive: campaigners call for protection and careful tree-planting to help restore the temperate rainforests that once covered swathes of the country
Rainforest, which has been decimated over thousands of years, has the potential to be restored across a fifth of Great Britain, a new map reveals.
Atlantic temperate rainforest once covered most of the west coasts of Britain and Ireland, thriving in the archipelago’s wet, mild conditions, which support rainforest indicator species such as lichens, mosses and liverworts. Today, it covers less than 1% of land, having been cleared over thousands of years by humans and is only found in isolated pockets, such as the waterfalls region in the Brecon Beacons and Ausewell Wood on Dartmoor.
Two maps released by Lost Rainforests of Britain, and shared exclusively with the Guardian, show both what exists today and what could be revived in the future. The map showing the remaining fragments of rainforest in England, Wales and Scotland was compiled with the help of the public, scientists and geolocation specialists.
The second map shows that more than half of Wales and nearly all of western Scotland – as well as large parts of Cornwall, the Lake District and other pockets north of Manchester – have suitable climates for temperate rainforest.
Guy Shrubsole, an environmental campaigner who runs the Lost Rainforests of Britain campaign, said the 18,870 hectares (46,628 acres) that survive in England could double in size within a generation if they were allowed to naturally regenerate, spread by ecosystem engineers such as jays, which have been shown to support forest regrowth…
Read the whole article here.