Production of Commercial Timber / Lumbering around the world is concentrated in the mid-latitude regions. Why? Explain while giving an account of spatial distribution of Commercial Timber Belts Forests around the world.
The important areas of commercial timber / lumbering are coniferous, hardwood and mixed forests of the Northern Hemisphere. Commercial Timber Belts Forests providing most of commercial timber occur in two major belts. First is the temperate forest belt encircling almost entire globe in the higher latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere. This forest belt provides much of the soft wood timber obtained from the coniferous trees (taiga in Eurasia and boreal forests in Canada). The second major belt of forest lies in the tropical and equatorial zone, including a large part of South America and Central Africa. Outside these major belts, commercial forestry is confined only in relatively small areas in Japan, south-eastern US, Chile and south-eastern parts of Australia and in some of the Mediterranean countries. It is believed that the forests once covered 25 to 30 per cent of the total area of the world.
Lumbering activity in the mid-latitude regions provides about 80 per cent of the world’s industrial wood. Tropical forests are generally less important for lumbering activity due to a variety of factors. Firstly, the demand for industrial wood in the less industrialised tropical regions is lower than in the industrialised temperate regions. Secondly, most of the forests in the tropical regions occur in relatively remote locations in relation to the potential markets. A high transport cost of timber leads to a somewhat lower demand for tropical timber, except for speciality timber such as mahogany which has a high demand in the industrial countries.