Question 1 Explain how forest prevents soil erosion?
Question 2 Explain how forest prevent floods?
Question 3 What is the role of forest in maintaining the balance between carbon dioxide and oxygen in the atmosphere?
Question 4 Describe the importance of forest for us, animals and environment?
Question 5 State few uses of wood?
Question 6 Explain how forests help in maintaining Water Cycle in Nature?
Question 7 Explain how forest keep the climate cool?
- 1 Forests Provide Us Many Useful Products
- 2 Uses of wood
- 3 Forest maintain the balance between Carbon dioxide and oxygen in the atmosphere
- 4 Forests Help in Maintaining Water Cycle in Nature
- 5 Forests Keep the Climate Cool
- 6 Forests Prevent Soil Erosion
- 7 Forests Prevent Occurrence of Floods
- 8 Forests Provide Food and Shelter to Wild Animals and Birds
- 9 Forests Provide Food and Shelter to Forest-Dwelling People
Forests Provide Us Many Useful Products
The various things which are obtained from the forests are called forest products. Some of the important products which we get from the forests are Wood, Honey, Gum, Sealing wax (or Lac), Catechu (Kattha), Fruits, Oils, Spices, Natural rubber, Cork, Dyes, Medicinal plants and Fodder for cattle.
Uses of wood
(1) Wood is used as a fuel wood (or firewood) in many households as a source of heat for cooking food.
(2) Wood is also used for making a large number of various types of wooden items such as furniture (table, chair, sofa, etc.), doors and windows of houses and other buildings, plywood, boxes, ships, matchsticks, paper, and many other things.
(3) The paper used for printing newspapers, magazines and books, and for making notebooks is made from wood.
Forest maintain the balance between Carbon dioxide and oxygen in the atmosphere
The human beings and other animals give out carbon dioxide during respiration which goes into atmosphere. The process of burning of fuels in homes, transport and industry also releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
The green plants and trees of the forest absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere for the process of food making (called photosynthesis). In this way, the plants reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The green plants and trees of the forest release oxygen during the process of food making (called photosynthesis). So, forests are the major suppliers of oxygen needed by humans and other animals for breathing and respiration.
Since the green plants and trees of the forest supply oxygen for breathing and respiration, therefore, forests are known as green lungs. Thus, forests remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and put oxygen into the atmosphere by doing this, forests maintain the balance of carbon dioxide and oxygen in the atmosphere.
By removing carbon dioxide from atmosphere, the forests stop the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from rising too high. This is very important because carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas which absorbs heat rays. High levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere can absorb too much of sun’s heat rays lead to global warming. In fact, the excessive cutting down of forest trees (or deforestation) these days is increasing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere gradually. This increasing amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is absorbing more and more of sun’s heat rays leading to global warming.
Forests Help in Maintaining Water Cycle in Nature
The forest trees suck water from the soil through their roots and release water vapour into the air through transpiration (evaporation from leaves). This water vapour helps in the formation of clouds and bring rain on the earth. Thus, forests bring sufficient rainfall on the earth. In this way, forests help in maintaining a perfect water cycle in nature and meet our freshwater requirements.
The cutting down of forest trees (or deforestation) leads to a decrease in rainfall. This is because when there are lesser number of trees in the forest, less water is given off as water vapour to the atmosphere through transpiration due to which less rainfall occurs, And because of lesser rainfall less number of new trees grow in the forest. This process is repeated and the area which was once a thick forest can ultimately become a desert having no vegetation at all.
Forests Keep the Climate Cool
The clouds which form from the water vapour going into the atmosphere through transpiration from forest area help to reflect away some of the sun’s rays, and keep the region comparatively cool and humid. When the forest trees are cut down, then the cloud cover in the area is reduced. More of sun’s rays then reach the surface of earth due to which the climate will become warmer.
Forests Prevent Soil Erosion
The removal of fertile top soil from a region by wind, rain or river water is called soil erosion.
Soil erosion occurs in those areas of land which are not covered by vegetation (like trees and plants). The roots of trees and plants growing in the forest bind the particles of top soil and hold the soil together firmly. Due to this binding of soil particles, the strong winds and flowing rainwater are not able to carry away the top soil and hence the soil erosion is prevented.
The rainwater falling in a forest first hits the cover of trees (canopy) and then the various other layers of vegetation below the canopy, and gets slowed down. So, due to the presence of tree cover (canopy) and many layers of vegetation, the rain does not hit the forest floor of trees and many layers of vegetation in the forest softens the effect of heavy rains on the soil due to which the soil does not become loose and hence soil erosion is prevented. Thus, forests help in, the conservation of soil.
The cutting down of forests (or deforestation) leads to soil erosion. In the absence of trees and plants, there are no roots which can bind the soil particles together and prevent them from being carried away by strong winds or heavy rains. This leads to soil erosion. Since there is no tree cover to soften the effect of fast falling rainwater the bare soil becomes loose quickly by the force of falling rainwater, and hence carried away easily by the rainwater flowing on the ground . Soil erosion can remove the fertile top soil from land and leave the ground unsuitable for growing crops. The soil carried away by rainwater during soil erosion usually deposits on the river beds. This reduces the depth of rivers and hence decreases their water carrying capacity leading to floods.
Forests Prevent Occurrence of Floods
The forest floor is covered with a lot of decaying material (like decaying plant leaves, etc.), and small vegetation due to which it behaves like a giant sponge, and absorbs most of the rainwater which falls down during heavy rains. The roots of trees and plants in the forest help this rainwater to seep into the forest ground and raise the water table. The forest releases this absorbed water slowly and steadily into the rivers through the soil.
By holding back rainwater and then releasing it slowly into rivers, the forests prevent the occurrence of floods in the rivers. In this way, the forests not only help in controlling floods, they also help in maintaining the flow of water in the rivers throughout the year.
If the forests are cut down, then in the absence of trees and plants of the forest, the excessive amount of rainwater falling during heavy rains cannot be absorbed into forest ground. The large amount of rainwater will then suddenly flow into rivers causing the flooding of rivers. Thus, cutting down of increasing number of forest trees (or deforestation) leads to sudden floods in rivers which cause a great loss of life and property in the nearby areas.
Forests Provide Food and Shelter to Wild Animals and Birds
There are a large number of various types of animals and birds in the forests. The different layers of vegetation present in a forest provide food and shelters to animals, birds and insects which live in the forest. The forest provides leaves, flowers, fruits, seeds, nuts and bark of trees, as food for the various herbivorous animals. The carnivorous animals hunt and eat herbivorous animals as food.
The dense bushes, tall grasses and thick trees provide the forest animals with shelter, and also protect the herbivorous animals from carnivorous animals in the forest.
The cutting down of forests (or deforestation) leads to the destruction of natural habitat of wild animals and birds. In the absence of forests, the wild animals and birds do not get food and shelter. So, they either die or get killed .Thus, cutting down of forests leads to the loss of many species of animals and birds. Some wild animals and birds are becoming extinct (disappearing completely) due to the destruction of forests.
Forests Provide Food and Shelter to Forest-Dwelling People
Many tribal people of our country live in forests. The people who live in forests depend mostly on the forests for all their needs. Forests provide the people living in it with food, water, shelter and medicines. These things are provided by the plants and animals of the forest.
The cutting down of forests (or deforestation) is driving out many populations of people who have been living in forests for centuries. It is also leading to the loss of traditionally harvested forest products such as firewood, fruits, honey, sealing wax (lac), gum, catechu, herbs, and fodder which supplied tribal people with their needs.