Deforestation: Causes and Effects

Class 8 Science Chapter 7 Conservation of Plants and Animals

In this article we will talk about serious issue of deforestation, causes of deforestation and its consequences.
Forests are natural resources which provide shelter, food, provides habitat to survive and reproduce for large number of organisms. Deforestation is process of cutting down of trees in the forests. However, due to deforestation forest dependent organisms are facing severe threat to their survival.

Causes of Deforestation

  • Man made causes: Some man made causes of deforestation are cutting of wood for furniture, paper and fuel. Clearing land for agriculture , building houses and factories, construction of roadways, railways, dams.
  • Natural causes: Natural causes like forest fires, severe drought causes deforestation.

Consequences of deforestation

  • Global warming: Due to deforestation there is an increase in quantity of carbon dioxide, thereby, increasing the temperature of earth. This is known as global warming. Moreover, it causes harmful effects of skin burning, melting of polar ice caps, increase of seawater level, floods thereby submerging the coastal areas.
  • Drought: Increase in temperature disturbs water cycle . Therefore it causes less rainfall. thus, this condition of less rainfall causes drought i.e. condition when there is no water for crop as well as drinking
  • Flood: Trees increases water holding capacity of soil. Moreover, it helps to increase ground water level. Because of deforestation, water cannot be hold for in the ground and so flow of water from the ground surface reduces. Thereby, lowering ground water level. This also increases level of water in the river. If river fails to hold the increase in waterlevel it brings flood.
  • Soil erosion and desertification: Roots of trees holds the top layer of the soil . Because of deforestation top layer of the soil is removed by water or wind. This is known as soil erosion. This causes change in nutrient content, texture, which gradually converts land into desert
  • Loss of biodiversity: Forest provides shelter to various plants and animals . By cutting plants humans are disturbing their habitat. Due to which life of such plants and animals are in threat.

Keywords: Biodiversity, Drought, Flood, Soil erosion, Desertification, Global warming, Water cycle

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