Nowadays significant cut down of forests takes place in different parts of the earth and India through deforestation.
Deforestation is the destruction of large areas of forests.
A large-scale cut down of forest trees to make the land available for different uses is called deforestation.
Deforestation is seen around the globe, which poses a big threat to the forests. Forests are destroyed continuously so that the forest land can be used for other purposes. Due to the rising population, forests are cleared due to competition for space and food.
Causes for deforestation:
Deforestation occurs for a wide variety of reasons, including
1. Intensive agriculture.
2. Urbanisation: With urbanisation and city expansion, more land is needed for housing and settlement. Forests are cleared to make way for the city's expansion.
3. Construction of dams, roads, industries, buildings, other infrastructures like hydroelectric projects.
Deforestation due to construction of dams
4. Forest fires: Forest fires are expected from time to time and is caused due to accidents, natural factors or humans. Forest fires wipe out a large area of forest, nearly thousands of acres each year worldwide. Forest fires affect biodiversity as well as the economy.
5. Construction of mountain and forest roads.
Construction of mountain and forest roads causes deforestation.
Deforestation is a threat to the economy, quality of life and the environment's future.
India is losing about \(1.5 \ million \ hectares\) of forest cover every year.
Effects of Deforestation:
Deforestation gives rise to ecological problems such as:
3. Soil erosion
4. Loss of wildlife: Deforestation causes loss of species of plants, animals, and few are on the verge of extinction. More than \(80 \ %\) of the world's species are present in the tropical rainforest. Nearly \(50\) to \(100\) species of animals are lost each day due to the destruction of habitats.
5. Extinction of species
6. Imbalance of biogeochemical cycles
7. Alteration of climatic conditions
8. Desertification: When trees are cut, the soil is eroded and washed away along with nutrients. Deforestation thus causes removal of topsoil or soil erosion and humus, leading to loss of fertile soil. Loss of fertile soil does not support plant growth which leads to desertification.
The process where fertile land becomes a desert is called desertification.
Effects of deforestation