Why is cutting down trees bad?


Quick Answer

Cutting down trees severely affects the habitats of forest-dwelling flora and fauna, which can eventually lead to extinction of vulnerable species. In addition to causing soil erosion, deforestation also results in larger amounts of greenhouse gases reaching the atmosphere because trees cannot absorb carbon dioxide once they’re cut down.

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Full Answer

Around 70 percent of the world’s flora and fauna lives in forests, as of 2014. As trees get cut down, plant and animal populations dwindle, which endangers the livelihood of the human population that depends on the forests for food, medicine and other products. In certain parts of Southeast Asia, deforestation has led to migration and social conflicts.

Trees normally mitigate the effects of air pollution caused by the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. As trees get cut down, the burning of fossil fuels required to operate wood-cutting machinery and large transportation vehicles further exacerbates the pollution.

Soil loses its cohesiveness and becomes susceptible to drying out if there are no tree roots to anchor it. Once that happens, the soil can no grow food. Through soil erosion, water sources, such as lakes and rivers, get polluted by silt, which decreases the quality of water and leads to health-related problems and a lack of drinkable water. Cutting down trees also disrupts the water cycle, because tree roots normally ground the water and release it into the atmosphere. The balance of water cycle, river flow and precipitation degrades without trees.

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