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Deforestation is an extremely harmful action taken to produce more land for human use. Both the immediate and resulting effects of deforestation can harm many aspects of the environment.

This lesson looks at how deforestation affects biodiversity.

What is deforestation?

In which part of the world do you think a lot of deforestation takes place?

What do you think has led to large scale deforestation in tropical areas? Pick all the options you think are correct.

You can select multiple answers

Apart from the use of land for food production, what other reason do you think has led to large scale deforestation?

So we cut down trees on a large scale to grow crops for biofuels, but what are biofuels?

So large scale deforestation happens a lot in tropical areas to provide land for producing food (cattle and rice) and biofuels.

One effect of deforestation is erosion. What is erosion?

Erosion is when for example wind or water move soil or sand or rocks around. That happens more easily if there are no trees to provide shelter from the wind and rain, and when tree roots no longer keep soil etc. in place. So erosion can lead to...

So erosion and potential landslides is one of the problems caused by deforestation. What might be another one?

What is evapotranspiration?

So erosion and disruptions to the carbon and water cycles are problems that deforestation causes. What other problem do you think it causes?

There is even a fourth problem of deforestation: Leaching. What do you think leaching is?

Deforestation leads to soil erosion, disruptions in the carbon and water cycle, disruptions to the balance of gases in the atmosphere and leaching. So deforestation has a lot of negative side effects that can really damage an ecosystem and its biodiversity.