Primary vs Secondary Forest: What’s the difference?
Did you know there was different types of forests namely Primary Forest and Secondary Forest?
If not let’s, what a better day than Earth’s day to find out together what the differences are?!
Primary Forest is the normal and natural state of the forest which enabled all types of animals and plants to evolve, it has a higher biodiversity than other types of forests. As of 2020, primary forest was representing only 26% of the total forest surface worldwide.
Secondary Forest on the other end is a forest which has regenerated through a natural succession process after very significant and/or total human or natural (ie: fire) disturbance. They show major difference in structure, species composition, and age profile compared to primary forests.
Recovery time of a forest is remarkably fast in species richness but slowly in species composition. Secondary forests take a median time of five decades to recover the species richness of old-growth forest (80% recovery after 20 years) based on rarefaction analysis. Full recovery of species composition takes centuries (only 34% recovery after 20 years).
Despite this, secondary forests remains valuables as they can still help maintain the biodiversity of the region, provide protection against soil erosion, and serve as sources of other valuable products such as timber and fuel wood.
This short video (1 min) does a good jog at wrapping things up and explaining why we need to preserve our primary forests.