Deforestation

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BIOL101
Article Review
5/1/2010

Deforestation

It is impossible to overstate the importance of humankind's clearing of the forests. The transformation of forested lands by human actions represents one of the great forces in global environmental change and one of the great drivers of biodiversity loss. The impact of people has been and continues to be profound. Forests are cleared, degraded and fragmented by timber harvest, conversion to agriculture, road-building, human-caused fire, and in myriad other ways. The effort to use and subdue the forest has been a constant theme in the transformation of the earth, in many societies, in many lands, and at most times.  Deforestation has important implications for life on this planet. (Science Daily: Deforestation) In Module 5: Ecology, of the class content, it talks about deforestation. It caught my attention because the problems caused by deforestation are affecting our ecosystem in ways that I had never realized. As a result of deforestation: * The carbon cycle is affected because a major player in the uptake of carbon dioxide is destroyed. * The hydrologic cycle is disrupted because trees play a role in the cycling of water through the environment. * Soil fertility has decreased due to increased erosion (with the loss of trees there are fewer roots in place to hold back soil during times of rain and flooding). * Ash particles released into the atmosphere (when forests are cleared by burning) block sunlight and lead to decreased vitality of the photosynthetic organisms at the base of most food chains. (Module 5: Ecology: Commentary)

The Science Daily article’s strength was that it played on the fact of loss of biodiversity. Forests provide habitats for many species of wildlife. By destroying the forests, it is destroying the wildlife’s habitat. Even with reforestation, it still does not replace the homes for the wildlife in a sufficient manner.

Another good point that the Science Daily...
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