Regulation of hydrological Cycle: Forested watersheds act like giant sponges, absorbing
the rainfall, slowing down the runoff. They control climate through transpiration of water
and seed clouding.
Soil Conservation: Forests bind the soil particles tightly in their roots and prevent soil
erosion. They also act as wind breakers.
Pollution moderators: Forests can absorb many toxic gases and can help in keeping the
air pure and in preventing noise pollution.
OVER EXPLOITATION OF FORESTS
Man depends heavily on forests for food, medicine, shelter, wood and fuel.
With growing civilization the demands for raw material like timber, pulp, minerals, fuel
wood etc. shot up resulting in large scale logging, mining, road- building and clearing of
Our forests contribute substantially to the national economy.
The international timber trade alone is worth over US $ 40 billion per year.
The devasting effects of deforestation in India include soil, water and wind erosion,
estimated to cost over 16,400 cores every year.
Ecological Significance of Forests
1) Balances CO2 and O2 levels in atmosphere.
2) Regulates earth temperature and hydrological cycle
3) Encourage seepage and reduces runoff losses, prevents drought
4) Reduces soil erosion (roots binding), prevents siltation and landslides thereby floods
5) Litter helps in maintaining soil fertility
6) Safe habitat for birds, wild animals and organisms against wind, solar radiation and rain.
Deforestation refers to the loss of forest cover; land that is permanently converted from forest to
agricultural land, golf courses, cattle pasture, home, lakes or desert.
Causes for Deforestation
Agriculture: Conversion of forests to agricultural land to feed growing numbers of
Commercial logging: Destroys