Deforestation is the removal of large numbers of trees, along with the
loss of the animals that habitat the area.
Deforestation occurs in many ways. Most of the clearing is done for
agricultural purposes-grazing cattle, planting crops. Poor farmers
chop down a small area (typically a few acres) and burn the tree
trunks-a process called Slash and Burn agriculture. Intensive, or
modern, agriculture occurs on a much larger scale, sometimes
deforesting several square miles at a time. Large cattle pastures
often replace rain forest to grow beef for the world market.
Commercial logging is another common form of deforestation, cutting
trees for sale as timber or pulp. Logging can occur selectively-where
only the economically valuable species are cut-or by clear cutting,
where all the trees are cut. Commercial logging uses heavy machinery,
such as bulldozers, road graders, and log skidders, to remove cut
trees and build roads, which is just as damaging to a forest overall
as the chainsaws are to the individual trees.
The causes of deforestation are very complex. A competitive global
economy drives the need for money in economically challenged tropical
countries. At the national level, governments sell logging concessions
to raise money for projects, to pay international debt, or to develop
industry. For example, Brazil had an international debt of $159
billion in 1995, on which it must make payments each year(3). The
logging companies seek to harvest the forest and make profit from the
sales of pulp and valuable hardwoods such as mahogany.
Deforestation by a peasant farmer is often ...
... middle of paper ...
...es water flow is totally stopped,
because reservoirs are built, which also flood local areas, submerging
Today, in most developed counties, trees are being replanted faster
than they can be cut down, so desertification is not as severe a
In developing countries, by contrast, poverty has created a threat to
trees, which can be sold or used as fuel. In these areas erosion is
also common, and along with deforestation, it is causing heavy
1) The Choice: Doomsday or Arbor Day-by Jocelyn Stock and Andy Rochen
2) Biology Notes –by Mary P.
3) The Causes of Tropical Deforestation -by John Revington
1) Biology Notes –Mary P.
2) Desertification –Kathie Watson
3) Desertification –Dr Michael Pidwirney
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