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Deforestation- Biology Guide for Class 8

Deforestation- Class 8 Science Guide

Information about Deforestation

Title

Deforestation

Class

Class 8

Subject

Class 8 Biology

Topics Covered

  • Domestic Consequences of Deforestation
  • Global Consequences of Deforestation


India is a large developing country known for its diverse forest ecosystems. The protection of forest ecosystems is critical as forests are a home to a large number of plants and animals. 

However, forest land is being sacrificed for massive development projects that have become a necessary part of urbanisation and industrialisation. There are many such development projects.
  • Forests are also being used as a source of raw material for paper, pulp and rayon mills.
  • Timber from forests is used to make furniture, railway sleepers and a number of our other daily requirements.
  • A significant percentage of our population uses fire wood, procured from forests, as cooking fuel.
  • In addition to fuel, forests are also a source of fodder, building materials, medicines and other minor forest products, again, for a significant percentage of human population.
  • All these factors have led to the indiscriminate cutting down of trees in the forests. This is known as deforestation. Deforestation has both domestic and global consequences.

Domestic Consequences of Deforestation

1. Disrupted river flow

Deforestation increases soil erosion and decreases rainfall. Both these factors, in turn, affect the flow of rivers and the path taken by them. 

2. Flooding

Deforestation results in increased instances of flooding as there is a lack of trees that bind the soil and absorb water. The deposition of soil in river bed decreases the depth of rivers.

3. Drought

Fewer trees means more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This leads to global warming, i.e. increase in temperature on earth that, in turn, disturbs the water cycle. Due to decreased rainfall, droughts occur.

4. Plant and wildlife extinction

Since forests provide habitat to many plants and animals, deforestation makes these animals homeless. This is the main cause of extinction of a large number of rare plants and animals.

5. Displacement of forest dwellers

Many persons, for whom forest is their only home, are also displaced due to deforestation.

6. Scarcity of forest products

Fewer trees in a forest also result in a decrease in the production of a number of useful forest products.

Global Consequences of Deforestation

1. Climatic change

  • Forests play a significant role in maintaining the climate. This is because they act as sinks for carbon dioxide (which is a major contributor to global warming), produce oxygen and play a significant role in determining the rainfall of an area.
  • A shift in climatic belts is being felt all over the world as a result of deforestation.
  • The summers are becoming hotter and rainfall in many parts is deficient.

2. Desertification

  • Deforestation exposes the soil and leads to soil erosion.
  • Due to this the soil becomes less fertile and, at times, the lower rocky layers are exposed.
  • This can lead to formation of deserts.

3. Ozone depletion

  • Certain greenhouse gases, such as nitrous oxide, accumulate in earth's atmosphere due to deforestation. 
  • These gases can remove the ozone that forms a protective shield, in the form of the ozone layer, present in the stratosphere. 
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