INTRODUCTION Agricultural expansion is one of the reasons why

INTRODUCTION 2 : DEFORESTATION

 Deforestation can be described as the tearing
down of the forests and woodlands. As the years pass by, the number of trees
being cut down for development and agricultural purposes continue to rise
steadily. The thing that most people fail to realize is that trees play in
important role in our ecosystem and destroying them can cause a major
disruption to the balance of nature.

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 There
are many types of forests and among them are tropical rainforests, which are
home to approximately half od the world flora and fauna species. However, in
recent years it ahs been found that most of these grounds have been tarnished
for deforestation purposes. This is saddening, considering that there are many
types of medicine and other products that can be produced from the trees.

 One of
the many interesting facts about rainforests is that they have the ability to
regulate climate. Among the climates that can be influenced by rainforest
includes wind, rainfall, humidity, and temperature patterns. They are also
known too absorb large amounts of carbon dioxide during photosynthesis and
simultaneously release oxygen into the environment as well as serving as water
catchment areas.

 Despite
all the uses of trees, they are still being destroyed on the basis if profit
gain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHY AND HOW DEFORESTATION OCCURS

 Agricultural expansion is one of the reasons
why deforestation is still happening to this day. Forests have been destroyed
and their layout have been changed in order to make way for the production of
more crops. Part of the reason for this, is due to the high demand for
agricultural products such as palm oil soybeans, fruits and vegetables.
Although effort have been made to replant the trees that have been cut down, it
is to no avail as the soil has lost its ability to provide sufficient amount of
nutrients required  for the trees to grow
healthily wit the right size, shape, colour and quality of fruits and flowers.

 Livestock ranching is also to blame for
causing deforestation. Countries that supply poultry meat such as beef,
chicken, lamb and by products from animals such as eggs, milk and fur often
have a high percentage of deforestation. The high demand for these products,
has caused farmers to illegally take up forest ground in order to have a bigger
space to farm more animals.

Logging, which is an illegal activity has also
caused deforestation rates to spike up as time passes by. These logs are used
in building, manufacturing and paper production. The high demand for these
products have aggravated the illegal logging business. Moreover, certain types
of wood which are valuable such as mahogany have a high price in the market and
as a result are often targeted by irresponsible traders to get a high profit.

 Infrastructure expansion, is also one of the
factor that leads to deforestation. Road construction can lead to deforestation
to make way for the new paths for cars, motorcycles and lorries to use. The
road expansion also makes it easier for illegal loggers to make way into the
forest.

 Finally,
overpopulation has also in a way caused deforestation. The increase in the
number of Earth’s occupants, has been a driving force to cut down trees in
order to make way for the setting up of more houses.

 

 

 

 

EFFECTS OF DEFORESTATION

 One of
the main effect of deforestation is that it has caused many geographical
disasters such as flash floods, soil erosion and landslides. Due to the lack of
proper land management a land that lacks strong roots to hold it on place is
subjected to soil erosion. Soil erosion is the thinning of the layer of soil
due to aggressive physical processes and climate such as heavy rainfalls. When
there are heavy rainfalls for a long time, the layer of soil naturally crumble
sand as it progresses this leads to landslides. The crumbled soil is then
carried away by streams to the bottom of the river. Collectively, this will
cause flash floods when it is raining heavily.

 Deforestation also results in the loss of
biodiversity especially in rainforests. Forests which are often destroyed by
human activities will disrupt the food web and many organisms both flora and
fauna will be affected by this. Habitats of flora and fauna’s will be lost
which will eventually result in the gradual endangerment and extinction of many
species. In a way, the extinction of flora and fauna will affect biodiversity. Numerous
valuable food as well as medicines can no longer be produced.

Deforestation also affects the carbon and
nitrogen cycle. The elimination of plants in forests will disrupt the natural
cycle of nutrients. The amount of carbon dioxide in the environment will
increase and simultaneously the amount of oxygen produced by plants by photosynthesis
will decrease. The recycling of nitrates as well as other ions will slow down. Roots
of the trees will bind soil particles together, and the tree canopy will reduce
the force of rain beating down on soil. Hence, deforestation will result in the
loss of nutrients.

Deforestation will also result in climate
changes. It will cause changes to the existing normal weather patterns,
resulting in a drier weather. The elimination of trees will also reduce transpiration,
rainfall as well as the rate at which plants collect carbon dioxide from the environment
through photosynthesis. Consequently, this will cause an increase in the amount
of carbon dioxide in the environment or otherwise known as global warming.

 

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CONSERVATION OF FORESTS

 

 Conservation of forests can be broken down in
to In-situ conservation and Ex-situ conservation. In- situ
conservation is the conservation of species in their natural habitats and is
considered the most appropriate way of conserving biodiversity. It conserves
the areas where populations of species exist naturally in an underlying
condition for the conservation of biodiversity.

 Ex-situ
conservation is the preservation of components of biological diversity that is
outside their natural habitats. Some of their ex-situ conservation method
includes gene banks for example seed banks, sperm and ova banks and filed
banks. Moreover, it also includes, captive breeding animals and artificial
propagation of plants with possible reintroduction into the wild, in vitro
plant tissues and microbial culture collections, and collecting organisms for
zoos, aquaria and botanic gardens for research and public awareness.

 Ex-situ
conservation can be complementary to in-situ methods as it provides an
“insurance policy” against extinction. These measures also have a valuable role
to play in recovery programmes for endangered species. In agricultural, ex-situ
conservation measures maintain domesticated plants which cannot survive in
nature unaided. Ex-situ conservation provides excellent research opportunities
on the components of biological diversity. Some of these institutions also play
a central role in public education and awareness by bringing members of the
public into contact with plants and animals they may not normally come in
contact with.  

 

 

 

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