Useful Notes on 9 Main Concomitant Effects of Deforestation

ii. Biodiversity is lost and along with that genetic diversity is eroded.

iii. Hydrological cycle gets affected, thereby influencing rainfall. Trees draw ground­water up through their roots and release it into the atmosphere (transpiration). In Amazonia over half of all the water circulating through the region’s ecosystem remains within the plants. With removal of part of the forest, the region cannot hold as much water. The effect of this could be a drier climate.

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iv. Problems of soil erosion and loss of soil fertility increase. With the loss of a protective cover of vegetation more soil is lost.

v. Silting of water courses, lakes and dams this occurs as a result of soil erosion. In hilly areas it often leads to landslide and flood.

vi. Silting of reservoirs and agricultural lands.

vii. Decreases of recharge to ground-water.

viii. Desertification-The causes of desertification are complex, but deforestation is one of the contributing factors.

ix. The carbon cycle. Forests act as a major carbon store because carbon dioxide (CO2) is taken up from the atmosphere and used to produce the carbohydrates, fats, and proteins that make up the tree.

When forests are cleared, and the trees are either burnt or rot, this carbon is released as CO2. This leads to an increase in the atmospheric CO2 concentration. CO2 is the major contributor to the greenhouse effect. It is estimated that deforestation contributes one-third of all CO2 releases caused by people.

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