|Deforestation isn't just about a loss of trees. It also has a large impact on the environment. Many living creatures depend on the trees, so when the trees disappear, the animals die off as well (decreased biodiversity). Potentially valuable medicines and materials are lost, as well as clean water and air. Indigenous peoples suffer, and eventually national economies suffer too. The futures of people and forests are still interconnected.|
Above and Top: Suburbs have expanded into areas that were once covered with forests, and the trees are now confined to small patches between fields, roads and buildings. Photo by Maya Walters.
|Trees also store water and then release it into the atmosphere (this process is called transpiration). This water cycle is an important part of the ecosystem because many plants and animals depend on the water that the trees help to store. When the trees are cut down, there is nothing to hold the water, leading to a drier climate. Also, the loss of trees causes erosion because there are no roots holding the soil together. The dirt then washes away into lakes and rivers, degrading aquatic habitats.|
One of the greatest causes of deforestation is overcutting. Almost anywhere that trees are logged, there are cases where too many are cut at once, making it almost impossible for the forest to grow back to its natural state.
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[forest life] [biodiversity] [loss of biodiversity] [food & medicine] [water] [climate] [soil] [fish]
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