Unit 4: Forestry - Deforestation 2

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  • Deforestation
    • Effects
      • Reduced biodiversity - unique species may die and isolation of forests affects biotic factors
        • Edges of forests have different abiotic factors from middle = 'edge effect' may cause species extinction
      • Soil erosion - roots hold soil together - degrades farmland, flooding, damaged aquatic ecosystems
      • Effect on indigenous people - hard to change lifestyle and loss of valuable knowledge of forest species
      • Loss of carbon sink - burning forests releases CO2
      • Reduced rainfall downwind - more infiltration so less evapo-transpiration
      • Increased ground albedo - bare ground produces wider temperature fluctuations due to less water in soil
      • Loss of visual amenity (aesthetics)
      • Loss of recreational/ ecotourism opportunity - lots of people can be in a forest without it seeming crowded
    • MEDCs and LEDCs
      • Unlikely that MEDCs could have developed without deforestation occurring
      • LEDCs are being criticised for going through same development as MEDCs did due to environmental impacts
      • If prices of exported timber and food were raised LEDCs may be able to afford more sustainable development strategie

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