Effects of Deforestation

Essay by Anonymous UserUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, December 1996

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The subject of deforestation and the effects that it has on the environment have been heavily debated for a long time; particularly over the last few years. Governments and large lumber companies see large profits in the mass deforestation of forests and state that their actions are having few, if any, harmful effects on the environment. Most people disagree with this and think that the environmental effects are devastating and will become irreversibly disastrous in the very near future. Whether or not the pros outweigh the cons will be hotly debated for years to come but the fact is that deforestation is harmful to the environment and leads to declining wildlife populations, drastic changes in climate and loss of soil.

The loss of forests means the loss of habitats for many species. Current statistics show that as many as 100 species become extinct every day with a large portion being attributed to deforestation (Delfgaauw, 1996).

'Edge effects' are the destruction or degradation of natural habitat that occur on the fringes of fragmented forests. The effects for the animals include greater exposure to the elements (wind, rain etc...), other non-forest animals and humans (Dunbar, 1993). This unnatural extinction of species endangers the world's food supply, threatens many human resources and has profound implications for biological diversity.

Another negative environmental impact of deforestation is that it causes climate changes all over the world. As we learned in elementary school, plant life is essential to life on earth as it produces much of the oxygen that is required for humans and other organisms to breathe. The massive destruction of trees negatively effects the quantity and quality of the air we breathe which has direct repercussions on the quantity and quality of life among both humans and animals alike. With this reduced amount of...