Deforestation is defined as the irresponsible or large-scale felling or cutting of trees by humans for commercial or other purposes.
CAUSES OF DEFORESTATION
- Logging and mining: useful minerals and ores are found in depths of the earth’s crust, extraction of which requires clearing of forests and trees on a large scale so as to get more usable land for mining purposes. Example: mica, coal, limestone, diamonds etc.
- Dams are built for economic benefits like for hydroelectric power or irrigation and caused vast destruction of forest area
- Dependence on fuel wood: in the present times’ many tribal communities depend on fuel wood to cope with their energy needs which lead to the cutting of trees and ultimately deforestation.
- Agriculture or grazing: for agriculture and grazing one would require a plain area where crops can grow easily and herbivores can feed satisfactorily.
- Palm oil production: palm oil is a very useful resource in many industries and household works so to obtain this every year a countless number of palm trees are sacrificed.
- Forest fire: forest fires are one the most common cause of deforestation. Forest fires can be natural due to excessive heat or man-driven. Forest fires may spread to vast distances causing the decimation of an entire forest and organisms living there. for example during Australian bushfire more than 17 million acres have burned in Australia.
EFFECTS OF DEFORESTATION
- Desertification: Excessive loss of trees may lead to desertification of a landscape
- Soil degradation and soil erosion: as trees and plants are the ones which hold on to the soil and prevent Soil erosion (movement of soil from one place to another place via wind flow)
- Loss of vegetation cover: forests support a wide range of vegetation in a particular area and loss of them may lead to degradation of the vegetation in that area.
- Destruction of natural habitat and loss of wildlife: many animal species and birds are dependent on forests for shelter, food, etc. And destruction of which may be led to natural habitat loss and wildlife.
There can also be more effects of deforestation like:
- Environmental pollution.
- Damage to ecosystem
- Reduction in soil moisture
- Greenhouse gas emissions
- Reduction in rainfall
- Loss of medical plants