Forests

Forests are critical to the health of the Chesapeake Bay—but human activities have altered the region’s forests, reducing tree cover and fragmenting forests that still exist.

FAQ

Terms

  • Attenuation

    The process by which forests reduce the amount of pollutants in the air.

  • Canopy

    The top layer of a forest. The canopy shades and protects the plants and animals below it, while intercepting and slowing rainfall.

  • Deforestation

    The removal of a forest, woodland or stand of trees without adequate replanting or natural regeneration.

  • Erosion

    The disruption or movement of soil by wind, water or ice, occurring naturally or as a result of land use practices.

  • Forest fragmentation

    A form of habitat fragmentation occurring when large patches of forest are cut down in a manner that leaves smaller patches of trees standing. Forest fragmentation can be caused by wildfires or by the intentional clearing of trees to make room for roads and development, and can make it difficult for some species to breed or find food.

  • Forest parcelization

    The division and sale of privately owned forestland into smaller pieces owned by more landowners.

  • Forest-interior species

    Species that tend to avoid edge habitats and that require large tracts of forest habitat for nesting and foraging.

  • Riparian forest buffers

    Trees, shrubs and other vegetation located along the edge of rivers, streams and other waterways that filter pollution, prevent erosion and provide wildlife habitat.

  • Understory

    The layer of forest located underneath the canopy. Here, smaller trees and shrubs grow, replacing older trees as they die.

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