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Deforestation - Is the sun setting for our forests?

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Introduction

Deforestation is the amputation of trees from forest areas more swiftly than they can be replanted or regenerate naturally. The fact that trees play an incredibly momentous part in stabilising climate, atmospheric composition and soil structure, removing trees rapidly becomes a major problem. There are numerous reasons behind the felling of trees by mankind. The Amazon basin is a prime example of humans exploiting rainforests. Within this tropical rainforest lie a vast variety of tree species, with many uses, giving humans even more reason to exploit this area. Timber and especially hardwoods like mahogany and ebony are being felled at an alarming rate to satisfy the needs of the swiftly developing world. Another problem for the forest areas of the world is the type of agriculture used by some peasant farmers known as "slash & burn". This method of farming involves the burning of trees to add to the initial supply of nutrients in the soil. ...read more.

Middle

The population of poor shanty towns are being encouraged by the governments to move to the forested area. This once again means the felling of trees. You can work out that only 1 of the forests in the world is being destroyed by humans in so many different ways to suit their way of life. Personally I think the problem is getting so worse mankind does not even have a care for the species habiting within the forest and the actual beauty of the forest. Third world countries which don't have enough money to turn the forests into business parks, office buildings, flats etc are still destroying forests by means of cutting down the trees to use them for fuel because the country is so poor this is the only fuel source available. The luxuries of the western world such as body creams, bath oils, sweets, fruits and nuts, etc are all used and eaten with no consideration where the origins are and what damage was caused to the environment obtaining them. ...read more.

Conclusion

The top layer of soil is eroded during this run off process and gets transported into rivers where it causes the level of silt to rise. This rise in river level causes floods to occur more frequently. This is how the destruction of trees increases soil erosion However, the protection which a forest gives the soil against erosion is not provided by trees but by the lower shrub layer and by the leaf litter. Raindrops falling from tree leaves have a higher kinetic energy than those falling in the open and therefore the soil would be disturbed more by the dropping of water from tree leaves than by rain if it weren't for the protective ground cover layer. A very large proportion of the water (around 75%) which reaches the soil is, however, returned to the atmosphere by the larger trees, and this is the part they play in preventing flooding. . ?? ?? ?? ?? A2 Biology- Michelle Ashcroft Zahid Akbar ...read more.

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