Reference Article

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Vegetation

Vegetation is a general term for the plant life of a region; it refers to the ground cover provided by plants, and is, by far, the most abundant biotic element of the biosphere.

Vegetation serves several critical functions in the biosphere, at all possible spatial scales.

First, vegetation regulates the flow of numerous biogeochemical cycles, most critically those of water, carbon, and nitrogen; it is also of great importance in local and global energy balances.

Such cycles are important not only for global patterns of vegetation but also for those of climate.

Second, vegetation strongly affects soil characteristics, including soil volume, chemistry and texture, which feed back to affect various vegetational characteristics, including productivity and structure.

Third, vegetation serves as wildlife habitat and the energy source for the vast array of animal species on the planet (and, ultimately, to those that feed on these).

Vegetation is also critically important to the world economy, particularly in the use of fossil fuels as an energy source, but also in the global production of food, wood, fuel and other materials.

Perhaps most importantly, global vegetation (including algal communities) has been the primary source of oxygen in the atmosphere, enabling the aerobic metabolism systems to evolve and persist.

Lastly, vegetation is psychologically important to humans, who evolved in direct contact with, and dependence on, vegetation, for food, shelter, and medicines.

Note: This article excerpts material from the Wikipedia article "Vegetation", which is released under the GNU Free Documentation License.

See the following related content on ScienceDaily:


Related Videos

last updated on 2015-03-05 at 11:45 pm EST

Adorable Solution to Florida's Giant Snail Problem

Adorable Solution to Florida's Giant Snail Problem

Buzz60 (Aug. 30, 2013) Florida's got a big problem with the invasive Giant African Land Snails destroying vegetation and property. The state's currently enlisting the help of some four-legged detectives. Labrador Retrievers are being trained to find the snails and get rid of them. Patrick Jones (@Patrick_E_Jones) has the rest.
Powered by NewsLook.com
Bosnian Nature Reserve Threatened by Hydro Electric Project

Bosnian Nature Reserve Threatened by Hydro Electric Project

AFP (Oct. 31, 2013) With abundant vegetation and an immense blue lake set against a mountainous backdrop, Hutovo Blato is one of southern Bosnia's most scenic spots.
Powered by NewsLook.com
Grazing Goats Best New Defense Against Wildfires

Grazing Goats Best New Defense Against Wildfires

Reuters - US Online Video (July 3, 2014) A Nevada rancher says his goats are the best kept secret in fire defense, renting them out to eat through vegetation and reducing fuel for fire around homes. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tongan Volcano Creates New Island

Tongan Volcano Creates New Island

AFP (Jan. 17, 2015) A Tongan volcano has created a substantial new island since it began erupting last month, spewing out huge volumes of rock and dense ash that has killed nearby vegetation. Duration: 00:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Related Stories


Share This



Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins