What is the difference between afforestation and reforestation?


Quick Answer

Afforestation is the process of establishing forests in areas that have never been forested while reforestation is the restoration of forests in areas where forests were removed or destroyed. Both afforestation and reforestation are the converse of avoiding deforestation.

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Full Answer

Afforestation and reforestation are two useful ways to combat climate change. Both processes can cause dramatic and rapid accumulation of carbon in tree biomass. This helps mitigate global warming by reducing the growth of carbon emissions to the atmosphere. Trees are able to capture and store carbon dioxide from the atmosphere during photosynthesis, and convert it into oxygen and carbohydrates.

Reforestation and afforestation can be used to improve the quality of air. These processes be used to remove air pollutants such as sulfur dioxide, ammonia and nitrogen dioxide from the air. Trees also help to filter particulate matter in the air and rebuild ecosystems and habitats.

Reforestation and afforestation can be used to improve water quality. Tree roots help to prevent soil erosion by stabilizing land soil. Additionally, by stabilizing the soil, trees prevent nutrients and sediments from washing into the nearby rivers and streams. Trees are also an important part of the food chain. They enrich the soil and also provide habitat for species.

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