- Arp, P. A.
University of New Brunswick
To a chemist, forests are fascinating in their capacity to synthesize complex substances such as wood using "only" sunlight, air, water and nutrients, while operating under very ordinary temperature and pressure conditions. The forests may thus be regarded as highly sophisticated chemical factories, with water purification, and a knack for shaping their own life-supporting environments and helping to stabilize climates and soils. In addition, forests can be made to grow on a self-sustaining basis, even when large quantities of biomass are withdrawn from time to time by tree-harvesting operations. In fact, such removal stimulates new growth, especially in aging forest pests and fires.