Forest is a significant natural resource. It is most significant natural habitat for wild life. It is also employed by farmers for commercial and recreational aims. Most of the herbivores find shelter and carnivores their prey in forest. Besides this, forest plays most significant role from commercial point of view. Forest based cottage industries, like bee-keeping, bamboo mat and basket making gives small-scale industry to the tribal people. Sal is a most significant source for timber industries. It too provides raw materials for pulp and plywood industry.
The green plants of forest are food-producing organisms and are mainly producers of the “food chain”. Such foods are stored in the form of nuts, fruits, seeds, nectar and wood. Thus, forest serves as an energy reservoir, Catching energy from sunlight and storing it in the form of a biochemical product.
Forest plays a most significant role in keeping the atmospheric balance by consuming CO2 and discharging O2, the latter that is necessary for animal life. Therefore elimination of plants and trees would disturb the composition of the natural air. An acre of forest absorbs 4-tones of carbonic acid gas and recycles 8-tones of oxygen into environment.
When a forest is cut down, energy stored in the wood is lost and as well most of the nutrients of the system are lost. This deforestation leaves a poor soil that can support agriculture for only a short period of time, since the harvesting of the first few crops eliminates the remaining nutrients and renders it ineffective. The deforestation causes soil erosion.
The reduction of forests later influences rainfall and therefore restricts the accessibility of a most significant natural resource, the rain water. In natural forests, the tree roots bind the soil and around 90% of the water falling on the forests is retained either in humus or in the plant tissue. The forest therefore acts as a soaking device and plays a crucial role in the hydrological cycle.
Today the tendency of deforestation is rising day by day. Man is cutting forest to obtain temporary profits but there is a marvelous loss in due course of time.
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