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Deforestation And Afforestation

“Clearance of vast areas of forest for procuring lumber, planting subsistence crops or grazing cattle is called deforestation”.
In developing countries, there is a population explosion. These rapid increases in population growth increase requirements for food and shelter. To overcome the basic need of more food, we are cutting trees to make way for agriculture and wood for houses. If the forests are cut down at that rate, leaf canopy, which protects the soil from the beating effects, of rain, will no longer exist. Consequently, some of the soil will be wasted by surface run off, reaching streams and rivers.
The destruction of forests leaves the soil barren and this is called deforestation. Now days, we are facing the problem of environmental pollution. Tree plantation is the only solution to make our environment more neat and clean. Numerous human activities have detrimental effects on natural carbon sinks.
The great forests of temperate and tropic biomes have been greatly reduced through harvesting practice that exceeded rates of replacement. This reduction has decreased the number of living trees that through photosynthesis removed carbon as CO2 from the atmosphere and through their growth stored it as wood for a long period of time.
It is, therefore, necessary to replace deforestation with reforestation i.e. trees may be replanted. Reforestation is especially important for many of the conifers species, which often require bare soil to establish. In clear-cut areas, where all of the trees have been removed, resprouting from stumps or seed germination may be protected for reforestation. A forestation is establishment of new forests where no forests existed previously.
Importance of Forests
Forests are very important component of the human environment. They provide protection to man as well as may other organisms. Fruits of forest trees are the source of food for a number of animals. Forests regulate the flow of water in the streams, prevent soil erosion and make the environment very pleasant.
Forests provide us with (1) timber (construction wood for houses) (2) fire wood. (3) medicine (herbal medicine, honey, wax) and many other products.
Forest is an environmental buffer. Regions with high rain fall (average 20 inches) are suitable for tree growth. Trees are called environmental buffer, they intercept heavy rainfall and release the water steadily and slowly to soil beneath and to the streams and rivers that start in or flow through them, and the tree roots hold the soil in place. Removal of forests allows soil erosion, silting up of lakes and rivers and dams, heavy floods and the loss forever of thousands of species of animals and plants. The disastrous floods in India and Bangladeh in recent years may be attributed to deforestation.
About half of the rain which falls in tropical forests comes from the transpiration by the trees themselves which also keep the environment cool and humid. When forests are removed, this source of rain is also removed. Cloud cover is reduced and the local climate changes quite dramatically. The temperature range fron1 day to night is more extreme i.e., the difference between day and night temperatures creases considerably, and the rainfall diminishes.
Forest and Biodiversity
One of the most characteristic features of tropical forests is the enormous diversity of species they contain. Biodiversity refers to “the total number of different species with in an ecosystem and the resulting complexity of interactions among them”.
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