Causes and Effects of Deforestation

Here are some of the main causes and effects of deforestation.

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Trees are one of the most important aspects of the planet we live in. Trees are vitally important to the environment, animals, and of course for us humans. They are important for the climate of the Earth, as they act as filters of carbon dioxide. Forests are known as habitats and shelters to millions of species. However, the trees on our planet are being depleted at a very fast rate. According to some estimates, more than 50 percent of the tree cover has disappeared due to human activity. This removal of forest or trees from a land and converting it for nonforest use is called deforestation. Although humans have practiced deforestation since ages, it was in the mid-1800s that forests began to be destroyed at an unprecedented rate. One of the most worrying factors today is the massive destruction of the rainforest of the world is affecting the biodiversity adversely, as well as being one of the major contributory factors to the ongoing Holocene mass extinction. This Buzzle article will cover some information that will help you know more about causes and effects of deforestation. What are the Causes of Deforestation? The deforestation causes include many factors. The destruction of the forests is occurring due to various reasons, one of the main reasons being the short-term economic benefits. Corruption at the government institutions, wealth and power due to harvesting of the riches of the forest, population growth and urbanization are some of the common causes of deforestation. Given below are some more common causes of deforestation: Urban Construction The cutting down of trees for lumber that is used for building materials, furniture, and paper products have a major impact on forest life. Forests are cleared to accommodate expanding urban areas. This results in loss of forest area and massive deforestation. Agriculture Forests are also cut down to clear land for growing crops, build farms, ranches and other food growing lands. Grazing Land Forests are cut down in order create land for grazing cattle. Huge herds of animals require food and forests are cleared out to make way for grazing lands for these cattle. Used for Fuel Trees are cut down in developing countries to be used as firewood or turned into charcoal, which are used for cooking and heating purposes.

The outcome of which is the extinction of animals and plants on a massive scale. to make highways and roads. which results in releasing the carbon that is stored in them as carbon dioxide. Trees act as a major storage depot for carbon. Large tracts of land will be rendered permanently impoverished due to soil erosion. Thus. these forests may recover. The groundwater tables are affected and soon get depleted. slash and burn farming techniques. what is not known quite as well is that deforestation has a direction association with carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere. making it very dry and eventually. When there are no trees. They not only lose their habitat and protective cover. which is then released into the atmosphere. and proteins that make up trees. Many beautiful creatures. which leads to alternating periods of flood and then drought in the affected area. they are pushed to extinction. Because of this. Loss of Biodiversity The unique biodiversity of various geographical areas is being lost on a scale that is quite unprecedented. since they absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. remains inside the plants. Some of these deforestation effects are discussed below: Erosion of Soil When forest areas are cleared. leaving no chance for the groundwater tables to absorb more water. it results in exposing the soil to the sun. However. Trees are cut down indiscriminately by logging companies. to fulfill the demands of the wood market. but usually the cleared land is used for construction and agriculture purposes. In addition. water just runs off. both plants and animals have vanished from the face of the earth. about 80-90 percent of the entire species of the world exist here. fats. The deforestation effects on animals is very heartbreaking.Commercial Purposes Some of the other causes of deforestation are: clearing forests for oil and mining exploitation. However. leads to greater concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Climate Change It is well-known that global warming is being caused largely due to emissions of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. . resulting in the land becoming useless. leading to loss of wildlife forever. which is then used to produce carbohydrates. many of the trees are burnt or they are allowed to rot. Thus. it washes away the rest of the nutrients. When forests are cut down. When these trees are cut down it results in the climate getting drier in that area. infertile. for by the time the trees mature. about 50 to 100 species of animals are being lost each day. This does not give a chance to the local wildlife and trees to regenerate and sustain themselves. cultivation in this land will also become impossible. The trees help in prevention of running off of water and help the soil absorb the flowing water. Flooding and Drought One of the vital functions of forests is to absorb and store great amounts of water quickly when there are heavy rains. This leads to loss of forests and loss of habitat for the local wildlife. this regulation of the flow of water is disrupted. when there is rainfall. due to volatile nutrients such as nitrogen being lost. leading to disruption of human settlements and loss of life in thousands. the soil will be totally devoid of essential nutrients. wildfires. They draw up water via their roots. merely replanting trees may not help in solving the problems caused by deforestation. Even though tropical rainforest make up just 6 percent of the surface area of the Earth. any type of logging legal or illegal leads to deforestation. Thus. in turn. Disruption of the Water Cycle Trees contribute in a large way in maintaining the water cycle. This. and acid rain. A large part of the water that circulates in the ecosystem of rainforests. Most of the time. What are the Effects of Deforestation? There are a number of adverse effects of deforestation. When deforestation occurs. ultimately leading to reduction in water resources. Forest fires can occur naturally or in most cases are deliberate attempts by man to clear huge forests. which flow with the rainwater into waterways. Due to massive deforestation. Illegal Logging Many government agencies are fighting illegal logging to protect the forests. for instance. Ultimately. that include environmental and economical.

These are just a few of the causes and effects of deforestation. Make our factories more cleaner and monitor their emissions. trees give us life. The water cycle gets disturbed leading to floods and droughts. People dependent on the forests for their survival lose their livelihood. if we all do our bit towards the environment. Develop better ways of farming that help increase the yield without having an impact on the neighboring forest areas. Remember. but humans dependent on the local ecology are also affected. . Global warming is another problem looming over our heads. Reforestation of lost areas and following sustainable practices will help us balance our green cover. Deforestation causes and its effects can be stopped to some extent. Not only do animals lose their homes. Reduce emissions by avoiding use of cars and bikes indiscriminately. without them it will be impossible to sustain life. The consequences of deforestation are very unpleasant as every form of life on earth is interlinked with one another. Forest management and strict monitoring of deforestation should be carried out by various government and other nonprofit agencies.

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