Today, a major threat to the survival of a variety of organisms that exist on earth is deforestation. Trees are cut for various reasons such as
- Building houses and factories
- Procuring land for cultivation
- For making furniture and fuels
A few natural causes for deforestation are severe droughts and forest fires. In class 8 science chapter 7, the effects of deforestation and the method to conserve forests are discussed.
Effects of Deforestation
- Fewer trees mean less carbon dioxide will be used up by the trees resulting in the large accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which will, in turn, cause global warming. This increase in temperature on the earth disturbs the water cycle reducing the total rainfall. This could cause droughts.
- Fewer trees result in more soil erosion because the roots of the trees hold the soil. The lower, hard and rocky layers of the soil are exposed when the top layer of the soil is removed by soil erosion. This layer of soil is less fertile and has less humus. Gradually the fertile land gets converted into deserts. This is called desertification.
- Deforestation decreases the water holding capacity of the soil. The movement of water from the surface into the ground is reduced which results in floods. Other properties of the soil such as the texture, nutrient content are also affected due to deforestation.
Conservation of Forest and Wildlife
The government imposes methods, rules and policies to protect and conserve forest and wildlife. National parks, wildlife sanctuaries, biosphere reserves etc., are protected areas for the conservation of animals and plants present in an area.
- Biosphere – Areas meant for the conservation of biodiversity. They help to maintain the culture and biodiversity of the area. A biosphere can have other protected areas in it like wildlife sanctuaries and national parks.
- Wildlife Sanctuary – Reserve forests that provide protection and suitable living conditions to wild animals.
- National Park – Reserves that are large and diverse enough to protect a whole set of the ecosystem. They preserve landscape, flora and fauna, and historic objects of an area.
We should save, recycle and reuse to save trees, water and energy. One should resort to reforestation which is the restocking of destroyed forests by planting new trees.
Conservation Of Plants And Animals Class 8 Extra Questions
- Differentiate between the following
- Zoo and wildlife sanctuary
- Wildlife sanctuary and biosphere reserve
- Flora and fauna
- Explain how deforestation leads to reduced rainfall.
- Find out about national parks in your state. Identify and show their location on the outline map of India.
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