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A plantation is a large-scale estate meant for farming that specializes in cash crops. The crops that are grown include cotton, coffee, tea, cocoa, sugar cane, opium, sisal, oil seeds, oil palms, fruits, rubber trees and forest trees. Protectionist policies and natural comparative advantage have sometimes contributed to determining where plantations are located.
Among the earliest examples of plantations were the latifundia of the Roman Empire, which produced large quantities of grain, wine and olive oil for export. Plantation agriculture grew rapidly with the increase in international trade and the development of a worldwide economy that followed the expansion of European colonial empires. Like every economic activity, it has changed over time.
Industrial plantations are established to produce a high volume of wood in a short period of time. Plantations are grown by state forestry authorities (for example, the Forestry Commission in Britain) and/or the paper and wood industries and other private landowners (such as Weyerhaeuser, Rayonier and Sierra Pacific Industries in the United States, Asia Pulp & Paper in Indonesia). Christmas trees are often grown on as well. In southern and southeastern Asia, teak plantations have recently replaced the natural forest.
Industrial plantations are actively managed for the commercial production of forest products. Industrial plantations are usually large-scale. Individual blocks are usually even-aged and often consist of just one or two species. These species can be exotic or indigenous. The plants used for the plantation are often genetically altered for desired traits such as growth and resistance to pests and diseases in general and specific traits, for example in the case of timber species, volumic wood production and stem straightness. Forest genetic resources are the basis for genetic alteration. Selected individuals grown in seed orchards are a good source for seeds to develop adequate planting material. Wood production on a tree plantation is generally higher than that of natural forests. While forests managed for wood production commonly yield between 1 and 3 cubic meters per hectare per year, plantations of fast-growing species commonly yield between 20 and 30 cubic meters or more per hectare annually; a Grand Fir plantation at in Scotland has a growth rate of 34 cubic meters per hectare per year (Aldhous & Low 2020), and Monterey Pine plantations in southern Australia can yield up to 40 cubic meters per hectare per year (Everard & Fourt 1974). In 2000, while plantations accounted for 5% of global forest, it is estimated that they supplied about 35% of the world's roundwood.
Some plantation trees, such as pines and eucalyptus, can be at high risk of fire damage because their leaf oils and resins are flammable to the point of a tree being explosive under some conditions[ citation needed ]. Conversely, an afflicted plantation can in some cases be cleared of pest species cheaply through the use of a prescribed burn, which kills all lesser plants but does not significantly harm the mature trees.
Many forestry experts claim that the establishment of plantations will reduce or eliminate the need to exploit natural forest for wood production. In principle this is true because due to the high productivity of plantations less land is needed. Many point to the example of New Zealand, where 19% of the forest area provides 99% of the supply of industrial round wood. It has been estimated that the world's demand for fiber could be met by just 5% of the world forest (Sedjo & Botkin 1997). However, in practice, plantations are replacing natural forest, for example in Indonesia. According to the FAO, about 7% of the natural closed forest being lost in the tropics is land being converted to plantations. The remaining 93% of the loss is land being converted to agriculture and other uses. Worldwide, an estimated 15% of plantations in tropical countries are established on closed canopy natural forest.
In the Kyoto Protocol, there are proposals encouraging the use of plantations to reduce carbon dioxide levels (though this idea is being challenged by some groups on the grounds that the sequestered CO2 is eventually released after harvest).
In contrast to a naturally regenerated forest, plantations are typically grown as even-aged monocultures, primarily for timber production.
In the 1970s, Brazil began to establish high-yield, intensively managed, short rotation plantations. These types of plantations are sometimes called fast-wood plantations or fiber farms and often managed on a short-rotation basis, as little as 5 to 15 years. They are becoming more widespread in South America, Asia and other areas. The environmental and social impacts of this type of plantation has caused them to become controversial. In Indonesia, for example, large multi-national pulp companies have harvested large areas of natural forest without regard for regeneration. From 1980 to 2000, about 50% of the 1.4 million hectares of pulpwood plantations in Indonesia have been established on what was formerly natural forest land.
The replacement of natural forest with tree plantations has also caused social problems. In some countries, again, notably Indonesia, conversions of natural forest are made with little regard for rights of the local people. Plantations established purely for the production of fiber provide a much narrower range of services than the original natural forest for the local people. India has sought to limit this damage by limiting the amount of land owned by one entity and, as a result, smaller plantations are owned by local farmers who then sell the wood to larger companies. Some large environmental organizations are critical of these high-yield plantations and are running an anti-plantation campaign, notably the Rainforest Action Network and Greenpeace.
Farm or home plantations are typically established for the production of timber and fire wood for home use and sometimes for sale. Management may be less intensive than with Industrial plantations. In time, this type of plantation can become difficult to distinguish from naturally regenerated forest.
Teak and bamboo plantations in India have given good results and an alternative crop solution to farmers of central India, where conventional farming was popular. But due to rising input costs of farming many farmers have done teak and bamboo plantations which require very little water (only during first two years). Teak and bamboo have legal protection from theft. Bamboo, once planted, gives output for 50 years till flowering occurs. Teak requires 20 years to grow to full maturity and fetch returns.
These may be established for watershed or soil protection. They are established for erosion control, landslide stabilization and windbreaks. Such plantations are established to foster native species and promote forest regeneration on degraded lands as a tool of environmental restoration.
Probably the single most important factor a plantation has on the local environment is the site where the plantation is established. If natural forest is cleared for a planted forest then a reduction in biodiversity and loss of habitat will likely result. In some cases, their establishment may involve draining wetlands to replace mixed hardwoods that formerly predominated with pine species. If a plantation is established on abandoned agricultural land, or highly degraded land, it can result in an increase in both habitat and biodiversity. A planted forest can be profitably established on lands that will not support agriculture or suffer from lack of natural regeneration.
The tree species used in a plantation is also an important factor. Where non-native varieties or species are grown, few of the native fauna are adapted to exploit these and further biodiversity loss occurs. However, even non-native tree species may serve as corridors for wildlife and act as a buffer for native forest, reducing edge effect.
Once a plantation is established, how it is managed becomes the important environmental factor. The single most important factor of management is the rotation period. Plantations harvested on longer rotation periods (30 years or more) can provide similar benefits to a naturally regenerated forest managed for wood production, on a similar rotation. This is especially true if native species are used. In the case of exotic species, the habitat can be improved significantly if the impact is mitigated by measures such as leaving blocks of native species in the plantation, or retaining corridors of natural forest. In Brazil, similar measures are required by government regulation
Sugar plantations were highly valued in the Caribbean by the British and French colonists in the 17th and 18th centuries and the use of sugar in Europe rose during this period. Sugarcane is still an important crop in Cuba. Sugar plantations also arose in countries such as Barbados and Cuba because of the natural endowments that they had. These natural endowments included soil that was conducive to growing sugar and a high marginal product of labor realized through the increasing number of slaves.
Plantings of the Pará rubber tree ( Hevea brasiliensis ), are usually called plantations.
Oil palm agriculture is rapidly expanding across wet tropical regions, and is usually developed at plantation scale.
Fruit orchards are sometimes considered to be plantations.
These include tobacco, sugarcane, pineapple, and cotton, especially in historical usage.
Before the rise of cotton in the American South, indigo and rice were also sometimes called plantation crops.
When Newfoundland was colonized by England in 1610, the original colonists were called "Planters" and their fishing rooms were known as "fishing plantations". These terms were used well into the 20th century.
The following three plantations are maintained by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador as provincial heritage sites:
Other fishing plantations:
African slave labour was used extensively to work on early plantations (such as tobacco, rice, cotton, and sugar plantations) in the American colonies and the United States, throughout the Caribbean, the Americas, and in European-occupied areas of Africa. Several notable historians and economists such as Eric Williams, Walter Rodney, and Karl Marx contend that the global capitalist economy was largely founded upon the creation and produce of thousands of slave labor camps based in colonial plantations, exploiting tens of millions of purchased Africans.
In modern times, the low wages typically paid to plantation workers are the basis of plantation profitability in some areas.
In more recent times, overt slavery has been replaced by para-slavery or slavery-in-kind, including the sharecropping system. At its most extreme, workers are in "debt bondage": they must work to pay off a debt at such punitive interest rates that it may never be paid off. Others work unreasonably long hours and are paid subsistence wages that (in practice) may only be spent in the company store.
In Brazil, a sugarcane plantation was termed an engenho ("engine"), and the 17th-century English usage for organized colonial production was "factory." Such colonial social and economic structures are discussed at Plantation economy.
Sugar workers on plantations in Cuba and elsewhere in the Caribbean lived in company towns known as bateyes .
A forest is a large area of land dominated by trees. Hundreds of more precise definitions of forest are used throughout the world, incorporating factors such as tree density, tree height, land use, legal standing and ecological function. According to the widely used Food and Agriculture Organization definition, forests covered 4 billion hectares (9.9×109 acres) (15 million square miles) or approximately 30 percent of the world's land area in 2006.
Eucalyptus is a genus of over seven hundred species of flowering trees, shrubs or mallees in the myrtle family, Myrtaceae. Along with other genera in the tribe Eucalypteae, they are commonly known as gums or eucalypts. Plants in the genus Eucalyptus have bark that is either smooth, fibrous, hard or stringy, leaves with oil glands, and sepals and petals that are fused to form a "cap" or operculum over the stamens. The fruit is a woody capsule commonly referred to as a "gumnut".
Forestry is the science and craft of creating, managing, using, conserving, and repairing forests, woodlands, and associated resources for human and environmental benefits. Forestry is practiced in plantations and natural stands. The science of forestry has elements that belong to the biological, physical, social, political and managerial sciences.
Reforestation is the natural or intentional restocking of existing forests and woodlands (forestation) that have been depleted, usually through deforestation. Reforestation can be used to rectify the effects of deforestation or improve the quality of human life by soaking up pollution and dust from the air, rebuilding natural habitats and ecosystems, mitigating global warming since forests facilitate biosequestration of atmospheric carbon dioxide, and harvesting for resources, particularly timber, but also non-timber forest products. In the beginning of the 21st century more attention is given to the ability of reforestation to mitigate climate change as one of the best methods to do it.
Teak is a tropical hardwood tree species in the family Lamiaceae. It is a large, deciduous tree that occurs in mixed hardwood forests. Tectona grandis has small, fragrant white flowers arranged in dense clusters (panicles) at the end of the branches. These flowers contain both types of reproductive organs. The large, papery leaves of teak trees are often hairy on the lower surface. Teak wood has a leather-like smell when it is freshly milled and is particularly valued for its durability and water resistance. The wood is used for boat building, exterior construction, veneer, furniture, carving, turnings, and other small wood projects.
Pinus radiata, family Pinaceae, the Monterey pine, insignis pine or radiata pine, is a species of pine native to the Central Coast of California and Mexico.
Pulpwood is timber with the principal use of making wood pulp for paper production.
Silviculture is the practice of controlling the growth, composition/structure, and quality of forests to meet values and needs, specifically timber production.
An old-growth forest — also termed primary forest, virgin forest, primeval forest, late seral forest, or forest primeval — is a forest that has attained great age without significant disturbance and thereby exhibits unique ecological features and might be classified as a climax community. Old-growth features include diverse tree-related structures that provide diverse wildlife habitat that increases the biodiversity of the forested ecosystem. Virgin forests are old-growth forests that have never been logged. The concept of diverse tree structure includes multi-layered canopies and canopy gaps, greatly varying tree heights and diameters, and diverse tree species and classes and sizes of woody debris.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and guide to forestry:
Brampton Wood is a 132.1 hectare biological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Cambridgeshire. The site is west of Brampton in Cambridgeshire. It is managed by the Wildlife Trust for Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire.
Forestry in India is a significant rural industry and a major environmental resource. India is one of the ten most forest-rich countries of the world. Together, India and these other 9 countries account for 67 percent of total forest area of the world. India's forest cover grew at 0.20% annually over 1990–2000, and has grown at the rate of 0.7% per year over 2000–2010, after decades where forest degradation was a matter of serious concern.
The forestry sector in Argentina has great potential. The geography of the country extends from north to south, encompassing 4,000 kilometres (2,500 mi). Its variety of climates, land quality, and reliable precipitation allow for the cultivation of different tree species at high growth rates. The climate varies and most areas are quite temperate. The country also enjoys short harvest periods for the most important species. This has allowed the industry to become more competitive and continue its high growth rates.
Bamboo textile is any cloth, yarn, or clothing made from bamboo fibres. While historically used only for structural elements, such as bustles and the ribs of corsets, in recent years, different technologies have been developed that allow bamboo fibre to be used for a wide range of textile and fashion applications. Examples include clothing such as shirt tops, pants, sock for adults and children as well as bedding such as sheets and pillow covers. Bamboo yarn can also be blended with other textile fibres such as hemp or spandex. Bamboo is an alternative to plastic that is renewable and can be replenished at a fast rate.
The existence of a wood economy, or more broadly, a forest economy, is a prominent matter in many developing countries as well as in many other nations with a temperate climate and especially in those with low temperatures. These are generally the countries with greater forested areas. The uses of wood in furniture, buildings, bridges, and as a source of energy are widely known. Additionally, wood from trees and bushes, can be turned into a variety of production, such as wood pulp, cellulose in paper, celluloid in early photographic film, cellophane, and rayon.
Plantation teak is a tropical hardwood tree from the genus Tectona, endemic to Southeast Asia that is exclusively planted for the purpose of forestry management, for either commercial or ecological purposes. Although the genus Tectona is native to the tropical regions of Southeast Asia, primarily Indonesia, Myanmar, Bangladesh and Thailand, the cultivation of plantation teak is economically viable in other tropical regions such as Central America.
Farming Systems in India are strategically utilized, according to the locations where they are most suitable. The farming systems that significantly contribute to the agriculture of India are subsistence farming, organic farming, industrial farming. Regions throughout India differ in types of farming they use; some are based on horticulture, ley farming, agroforestry, and many more. Due to India's geographical location, certain parts experience different climates, thus affecting each region's agricultural productivity differently. India is very dependent on its monsoon cycle for large crop yields. India's agriculture has an extensive background which goes back to at least 9 thousand years. In India, Agriculture was established throughout most of the subcontinent by 6000–5000 BP. During the 5th millennium BP, in the alluvial plains of the Indus River in Pakistan, the old cities of Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa experienced an apparent establishment of an organized farming urban culture. That society, known as the Harappan or Indus civilization, flourished until shortly after 4000 BP; it was much more comprehensive than those of Egypt or Babylonia and appeared earlier than analogous societies in northern China. Currently, the country holds the second position in agricultural production in the world. In 2007, agriculture and other industries made up more than 16% of India's GDP. Despite the steady decline in agriculture's contribution to the country's GDP, agriculture is the biggest industry in the country and plays a key role in the socio-economic growth of the country. India is the second-largest producer of wheat, rice, cotton, sugarcane, silk, groundnuts, and dozens more. It is also the second biggest harvester of vegetables and fruit, representing 8.6% and 10.9% of overall production, respectively. The major fruits produced by India are mangoes, papayas, sapota, and bananas. India also has the biggest number of livestock in the world, holding 281 million. In 2008, the country housed the second largest number of cattle in the world with 175 million.
Scion, a company officially registered as New Zealand Forest Research Institute Limited, is a New Zealand Crown Research Institute (CRI). Scion specialises in research, science and technology development for the forestry, wood product, wood-derived materials, and other biomaterial sectors.
A genetically modified tree is a tree whose DNA has been modified using genetic engineering techniques. In most cases the aim is to introduce a novel trait to the plant which does not occur naturally within the species. Examples include resistance to certain pests, diseases, environmental conditions, and herbicide tolerance, or the alteration of lignin levels in order to reduce pulping costs.
The Farm Forestry Toolbox is a collection of computer programs, referred to as 'Tools', intended to be used by farm forest owners and managers to aid decision making. The Toolbox includes a set of simple 'Hand Tools'; conversion of measurements and map co-ordinates; measuring the volume of stacked logs, slope, basal area; and a survey tool. A second set of more complex tools or 'Power Tools'; can be used to estimate site productivity, volume and value of wood grown for individual trees, at the coupe or stand level and forest estate level.