Land utilization for agricultural, industrial and infrastructural use remains the most striking human-driven intervention on the forest ecosystem. Clearing the land breaks the cycle of life in the forest by stripping away huge numbers of trees and displacing the living organisms that once lived in them and on the land.
Centuries of human intervention have altered the land where deciduous forests thrive. Deciduous forest once covered about half of the land area on Earth, but it has now been reduced to one-third due to forest clearing. Humans also indirectly contribute to the destruction of deciduous forests through activities such as burning fossil fuels and deforestation through burning the land. These activities greatly contribute to global warming, leading to acid rain and air pollution that damages trees and plants, and also cause water pollution. Deciduous trees have broad leaves, which are used to collect sunlight and generate energy. If damaged, the trees may get sick easily and be less resistant to pests and diseases.
Some deciduous forests are mined for minerals such as coal and oil. Mining not only strips the forest of its trees, it also depletes the soil of its nutrients and prevents plants and trees from growing there again. Some irresponsible mining companies also throw their excavated waste and chemicals on the ground or in nearby bodies of water, leading to water pollution and further destruction of the forest ecosystem.