In this blog, we will discuss the different reasons for deforestation and what are its consequences.We will list down the various reasons for deforestation and will answer in detail the effects, the deforestation has on the environment and the living beings in the long run.Deforestation can result in severe climatic imbalances that has an impact on the water , air and atmosphere quality around.
Reasons for Deforestation
The different reasons for deforestation are listed as follows:
- Infrastructure Development
- Fuel wood collection
- Cattle breeding
- Timber Extraction
- Natural Fires
One of the major reasons for deforestation is agriculture.It is believed that almost eighty percent of the global deforestation is caused due to deforestation.In this a huge area of a forest is burned to clear the land for agriculture farming.This results in habitat destruction of the forest.For example the palm oil is a basic component of the many commodities that are consumed worldwide ranging from soaps to shampoos and cookies even.A major cause of the deforestation in many countries is the growing demand of palm oil.Therefore the industrial and commercial agriculture farming is a major driver of deforestation.
Deforestation is also caused by the mass development projects like roads and buildings construction or raising new bridges and dams.Deforestation could also be a result of massive railway and road expansion projects.Moreover these roads construction provides an easy access to the remote landscapes of rainforests , that were considered far to travel areas before,thus destroying their ecosystems.
Large scale mining causes deforestation as they damage the biodiversity and affect the ecosystem of nature.Specifically open pit mining results in massive deforestation through road clearance and causing pollution to the surroundings.Deforestation due to mining is growing due to high demand of the minerals and precious stones.However,deforestation after mining causes soil erosion, formation of sinkholes and contamination of soil.
Fuel wood collection
Most of the time, the deforestation occurs as the local people of native lands collect the wood for their domestic use or even for the trade purpose of coal.The deforestation occurs because the population in the world is growing rapidly and the people have to meet energy requirements for their existence.
Parasites are also believed to be one of the causes of deforestation.Three classes of worms that are found in forests are nematodes, flatworms and annelids.
The fast moving flood waters often cause deforestation.When the heavy rainfall occurs, they damage the root systems, therefore washing away the topsoil and exposing the roots.The soil that is left has least nutrients and the trees are likely to fall.Moreover, there are more chances of disease and dryness of forest plantation.
It as been researched that huge areas of rainforest are burnt annually by the cattle ranchers to turn the land into pasture.The soil of these pastures soon dries out and the cattle ranchers move on to the next areas leaving the dry and barren lands behind.Therefore cattle ranching is another reason for deforestation as it involves slash and burn activities for cattle grazing.
One of the biggest reasons behind the deforestation is the timber extraction.Here ,the centuries old trees are cut to form cellulose for the paper industry.Or the timber is also extracted to make furniture from the wood.This results in the damage to nature’s ecosystem and wildlife.The devastated land is left behind with the loss of trees that have many economical and biological importance.
The natural calamities are one of the biggest reasons for the deforestation.As the high winds and heavy waters flow during hurricanes, there are many uprooted plants and trees that die and fall down.The increased salt levels in the soil are the reason for non existence of a tree for a longer period of time.Ultimately the forest declines.
There had occurred many wildfires that lead to deforestation.After the these fires ,the devastated forest land is nothing but a pile of lead litter.when the fire occurs, the atmospheric canopy gets thinner and allows more sunlight in contact with the land.This in return causes dried vegetation that might lead to more wild forests in the future.The forest fires increases the emission of carbon dioxide and other gases such as methane and nitrous oxide into the air.
Deforestation and Climate Changes
Deforestation is directly linked to the climate changes occurring globally.Forests are the best defender against the excessive emissions of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Deforestation contributes significantly to global warming.When the trees are cut and burnt , a large amount of greenhouse gases are released that affects the atmospheric temperatures significantly.
Important Considerations in Deforestation
In addition to the above mentioned reasons, there are some other important factors that causes deforestation.They are listed below:
- Ineffective government initiatives for conservation of ecosystems.
- Poor administration and planning of the administration to control tropical deforestation.
- Inadequate efforts of the public sector for the land allocation system.
- Insufficient political systems
Consequences of Deforestation
The shrinking forests might seem to be a loss of wood or trees only but in reality it has adverse effects on human and biodiversity.Following is the list consequences of deforestation:
- Loss of Habitat
One of the obvious consequences of deforestation is the loss of animals and plant habitat , therefore resulting in extinction of these species.It is a dangerous fact that almost 70 percent of the known species of plants and animals are living in the forests and there are many unknown.The death of these animals and plant species leads to permanent eradication of important flora and fauna of the forest that is required for regeneration of the forests.
- Effects on ecosystem
The loss of biodiversity affects the ecosystem drastically.As we all know that all living beings are connected in an ecosystem.If a plant dies and is extinct because of deforestation , the animals dependent on the plant for food would ultimately also find some other places and migrate in search of food .
It is vice versa for the plants that are dependent on the animals to disperse their seed and help in regrowth of the new plants.When there is a population loss of a specific animal specie, the dependent plant would ultimately vanish.Therefore the extinction of one specie has a chain effect on the other species in an ecosystem.
- Effects on Climate
The forests control and manage the atmospheric air quality by consuming the carbon dioxide from the air and converting into oxygen.When the trees are cut the carbon dioxide that was previously absorbed is released back into the atmosphere causing global warming.The trees are sources of releasing water into the air and therefore deforestation leads to drier and hot atmosphere.
- Soil Erosion
The roots of the plants strongly hold the topsoil of the forests that is essential for the vegetation.When the trees are cut down, the soil erosion happens , and the topsoil is washed away into the water streams and water channels.This affects the soil fertility and contaminates the natural rivers of water.
In the above blog we have discussed variou factors that contribute to deforestation.We have listed different causes of deforestation including human causes and natural causes that lead to deforestation.We have also concluded that the deforestation strongly impacts the ecosystems, biodiversity,the climate and water cycle.Deforestation has become a global concern as it is a major driver of global warming.
Frequently Asked Questions;What are the ten causes of deforestation?
The main causes of deforestation are listed below:
- Cattle ranching
- Desertification of land
- Construction of roads and development
- Natural disasters
What are the three main reasons for deforestation?
The most important factors contributing towards deforestation and sevre forest degradation are agriculture , unsustainable forest management,mining, infrastructure projects and increased fire incidences.
What are the main causes of deforestation?
There is rarely a single cause of deforestation as there are many factors involved in deforestation of tropical rainforests.The direct causes of deforestation are :
- Agricultural expansion
- Wood extraction (wood extraction for domestic purposes and fuel )
- Infrastructure Expansion( construction of roads and other expansion projects)
What is deforestation and its causes and effects?
Deforestation has become a global phenomenon and causes floods, soil erosion, desertification, higher temperatures and ecological imbalance to occur more frequently and massively.
It is not only the natural causes that lead to deforestation but most often human actions are involved.The most immediate consequences of deforestation occurs locally by affecting the the native people who live in the nearby areas of the forest as their basic life needs are dependent on these forests.They rely on these forests for their everyday needs.