What are the Causes and Effects of Deforestation?



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(i) Population explosion

(ii) Agriculture: shifting cultivation, overgrazing, cash crop economy etc.

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(iii) Commercial logging: cutting trees for sale as timber or pulp

(iv) Poverty

(v) Mining

(vi) Dams

(vii) Infrastructure creation for logging

(viii) Forest-fires

(ix) Acid rain

(x) Development projects and housing projects.

Effects of Deforestation:

The ill-effects of deforestation are summarized below:

(i) Soil erosion:

Soil is exposed to wind, sunlight, and evaporation due to deforestation. Soil fertility goes down due to soil erosion and rapid leaching of essential mineral nutrients.

(ii) Harm to fisheries:

As the soil is eroded, it accelerates siltation in dams, rivers, and the coastal zone. The increased sedimentation harms downstream fisheries.

(iii) More floods and droughts:

Because of deforestation, there is no regulation of the flow into rivers. As result, floods and droughts alternate in the affected areas.

(iv) Habitat loss of wildlife:

Butterflies, migratory birds, wild animals suffer due to the loss of their habitat.

(v) Extinction of some species:

Many species are affected and some get extincted.

(vi) Local and global climate changes:

The rainfall pattern is affected as the forest is cut down. Local and global climate changes may result from deforestation.

(vii) Global warming:

If the trees are burned, the carbon is released immediately as carbon dioxide which leads to global warming.

(viii) Danger for the survival of local communities:

Communities lose their source of food, fuel, construction materials and areas for livestock grazing by deforestation.

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