The Importance of Tropical Trees in The Caribbean And Why we Need Them
See what the different types of tropical trees and plants do for us and how we can appreciate the Caribbean flora through awareness and sustainability.
Take a moment to think about the Caribbean trees and tropical rainforests. They have more types of trees than any other forest type in the entire world. Impressive, I know.
But, they are fighting for space. With a growing human population, there is a continuous need to clear more forestry to create room for the people that keep expanding. Not only that, but the environment around them is changing with increased conditions for each tree and plant to endure.
But why does this matter? Surely a few less won't make much of a difference?
In fact, our own future depends largely on our care for the trees and their environment. Let me show you how…
Why tropical trees and rainforests matter
Despite the obvious fact that we enjoy breathing and trees give us fresh and wonderful air to enjoy, trees do a lot to aid us. Tropical flora also heavily impacts the islands and peninsulas that they inhabit.
For example, when trees are removed, water no longer drains away slowly and instead plummets downhill bringing with it all the topsoil. This not only messes up the homes of many small creatures, and causes possible landslides or mudslides (not the cocktail), but it takes all that soil and dumps it into the ocean layering it over the living coral and other ocean life.
The corals are responsible for the white sands and without them, beach erosion can be imminent. This means that no tropical trees could mean, no beaches. You can see why this may be part of a seriously big matter for the Caribbean which is world famous for its golden and white sand beaches.
Another problem with not having trees and tropical plants in the Caribbean comes from land erosion which not only diminishes the usable land, and increases flooding, but it also removes the topsoil making it almost impossible to replant the trees that were once there. This is why planting trees as soon as possible is essential before it is too late.
Lastly, we also need to think about biodiversity and wildlife. Where would all the beautiful birds mammals and other creatures be without the habitat that makes up their home, their food source, their shelter, and much more?
As you can see, the loss of trees could be a very sad affair indeed.
8 things Caribbean trees do for you
No matter what we do, every tree continues to give us gifts and help us behind the scenes each and every day. To help you see just how much they are doing, take a look at some of their complimentary services.
Life giving forests:
Everyone talks about greenhouse gases these days and the effect they could have on the planet. But did you know that just a single hectare of rainforest can absorb up to 400 tonnes of greenhouse gases in a single year? It's a lot. Trees take our carbon dioxide and give back clean and breathable air.
Cocktails and cocunuts
What grows on palm trees? Yes, that's right, your favorite coconut drinks are thanks to the trees. Just as most Caribbean cocktails are. Whatever fruity flavor, or yummy creation you love, it's likely that some part of it probably started as a plant or tree.
Trees soak up a lot of water stopping it from carrying on a destructive course. But not only that. The water they take on like giant green sponges is cleaned naturally by cycling it through the forest. This both regulates and purifies the water for us, other plants, and of course other living creatures.
All types of tropical trees add to the soil in a big way. Their organic parts such as leaves, roots, branches, bark, and produce decompose into the ground enriching the soil. Also, the root system keeps the soil in place providing safe havens of strength and a solid soil system that is anchored and steadfast against heavy rain.
Wood is a sustainable material because it can be replenished and regrown, an unlimited amount of times. Trees with the correct management can be used for wood to build homes, create practical tools, and manufacture other long lasting items.
Tree related products also abound. Whether we are talking about modern medicine, tree sap, or something else, the uses of trees make them a valuable natural resource worth protecting.
Nature lovers know that no escape to the Caribbean, no tropical getaway, would be the same without the lush and verdant company of the many trees around us. Whether you want some shade on a hot day, a beautiful backdrop for your Instagram snaps, or a breathtaking (and breathgiving) view, the trees are the thing that create the tropical feel and immerse you in a thriving environment that exudes life.
Pest control promotion:
Just how many birds, bees, and other beautiful creatures inhabit the trees in the Caribbean? We certainly couldn't list them all here. Many of these wondrous beings feed upon pest species that would otherwise run out of control and plague farmed crops and other types of plantations. The trees protect the creatures that eat the pests thus protecting us.
Why is the canopy in a tropical rainforest the greatest repository of biodiversity? Because it has amazing access to sunlight and water throughout the year. This creates the perfect living environment not just for flighted creatures but all sorts of wildlife. By allowing trees to reach their peak we encourage the growth of diverse life that we can enjoy, especially if you like subequatorial birding.
What can be done to help the trees?
Awareness is always key. This is why I wrote this blog. The more people that know the value of plants and trees in the Caribbean and in other parts of the world, the more willing they will be to find ways of protecting and preserving them.
One thing everyone can do is make sustainable choices. When you are buying products, look for sustainable or environmentally friendly seals that show the care for the natural world that you share.
When taking a vacation, choose a brand that is taking positive action for the trees of the Caribbean. If you can find a brand that has EarthCheck certifications, then you can likely surmise that they do some sort of reforestation, planting activities, and endemic tree protection.
Last of all, tell your friends and family about how important this matter is. Feel free to share this article with others so that more people can join in caring and showing care for the tropical trees of the Caribbean.
Tags: The natural wonders of the Caribbean
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