Afforestation is the planting of trees or sowing seeds in a barren land to create a forest.
Deforestation causes climate changes, and there is also no seasonal rainfall. Due to this, many cities face water scarcity, and many lands become barren. Afforestation helps to create forests but is quite different from the natural forests.
Functions of afforestation:
The world is experiencing a great change in climate in recent years, and these changes are alarming. Afforestation protects the earth, which provides a solution for deforestation and global warming.
1. Afforestation helps animals and even indigenous humans to provide shelter and food source.
2. Afforestation increases the supply of oxygen and water vapour in the atmosphere (which helps in rainfall).
3. Planting of trees reduces the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which controls air pollution, greenhouse gases and global warming.
4. Afforestation avoids desertification of land.
5. Barren land without vegetation experience strong winds and cause soil erosion. The topsoil is washed away during rain. Afforestation helps to grow tress that hold the topsoil with the humus along with the soil nutrients.
6. Afforestation provides us with fodder, fruits and other resources that are important to us.
7. Some of the industries needs specific types of trees. Afforestation grows particular types of trees required.
Reforestation is natural or intentional replanting of existing forests which have been destroyed through deforestation.
Reforestation and afforestation looks similar, but both are different. Reforestation is replanting trees in an area that had lost the forest cover. Reforestation aims to cover the forest again with plants through planting new trees.
The planted trees must generally be of the same species cut down from the forest during deforestation. Afforestation is growing forest in an area that had no trees or tree cover. Reforestation is a strategy that is effective against global warming and to protect species of animals.
Reforestation helps to re-establish the habitats that otherwise leads to destruction and degradation of habitat that cause endangerment of species. Reforestation can also take place naturally. If the deforested area is left without disturbance for some time, forest re-establishes itself by growth of trees. This is called natural reforestation. In natural reforestation, humans do not have any role.
Functions of reforestation:
1. Improves the air quality as the amount of carbon dioxide is reduced.
2. Effects of deforestation like global warming is reduced due to the reduction of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
3. Restores the loss of habitat and degradation and threat to the species.
4. Reverses the damage that was caused due to soil erosion. Revives watersheds that are essential aspects of environmental well-being.
5. Maintains water cycle of the area as the trees absorb moisture through roots and leaves. Transpiration process helps to restore the moisture of the atmosphere and maintains the temperature in the local environment.
Difference between reforestation and afforestation are summarized below:
|Trees are planted in new areas where there was no forest tree cover.|
Trees are replanted in areas where forests have been destroyed.
|One sapling is planted to get a single tree||Two saplings are planted to replace the destroyed or felled tree.|
|Afforestation brings in more area under the forest cover.||Reforestation is done to avoid deforestation.|
Difference between reforestation and deforestation is also given below:
|When trees or plants are cut down, it is called as deforestation.|
Trees are replanted or grown where forests have been destroyed is called as reforestation.
|Has a negative effect on the environment.||Has a very good effect on nature as it rebuilds the environment lost.|