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How Deforestation Effects environment

Dr. Abhinandan Bhardwaj PhD

Many of the earth’s most delicate ecosystems have been affected by rampant and irresponsible deforestation. Although the dire effects are well known and documented by researches around the world, deforestation still persists by those who still break the law and for illegal business.

Deforestation happens when trees are cut down on a wide scale. This leads to widespread disruption of a forest ecosystem. When a forest is cleared, the rich topsoil is  exposed. The rain that falls on the exposed soil converts that rich topsoil into a sealed-off soil that is moist and muddy. It causes the soil to be washed easily into waterways. What is left behind is poor subsoil that leaves the land vulnerable to more natural erosion. In other words, deforestation leads to massive soil and land erosion.

Watch Video - On Deforestation


What happens When Deforestation happens?

When deforestation happens in tropical rain forests the effects are more devastating. It is because humus topsoil in tropical rain forests is known to be very thin and lacking in nutrients, so when deforestation occurs, the topsoil that is left behind is very vulnerable and will tend to wash away and erode easily. After deforestation in tropical rain forests, the only thing left is very poor nutrient, hard, clay-like subsoil that is not rich enough to sustain most forms of agriculture.

Sediments that are washed away eventually enter our drains, streams and rivers. These eroding sediments are often responsible for clogging up water channel leading to the problem of flooding. Soil erosion upsets surrounding ecosystems and has been known to be responsible for killing off the fishes and flooding reservoirs.

However despite all the ill effects, deforestation still happens around the world at alarming rates, especially in developing countries. A survey carried out by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that 33.8 million trees were cleared between 1990 and 1995 in developing countries. That area would be 3 times the size of France! Why? What is happening? It is because forests are ready source of timber and wealth and after the forests are cleared, there’s room for agriculture. Most of the agriculture is directed the to the planting of cash crops and grass and other crops to support greater beef promotion.

      Causes of Deforestation

The leading causes of deforestation include:

Expansion of agricultural lands
Dams and other development projects
In all cases except fire, the underlying cause of deforestation is economic.

Who is affected by deforestation?

Every one is affected. Forests are crucial in recycling carbon, oxygen and nitrogen. They basically act as a filter for the air we breathe. When a forest is disturbed, it can affect the balance of the environment. Forests are responsible for rains and maintains healthy ecosystem. Entire ecosystem is affected by deforestation.

How Forests helps :

Provide a home to many plants and animals;

Help stabilize the world's climate;

Protect against flood, drought, and erosion;

Are a source for medicines and foods;

Support tribal people

Crucial in recycling carbon, oxygen and nitrogen.

Are an interesting place to visit




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