August 14, 2012

Uses of Forests - Paper 4 - APPSC Group 1 Mains

Indirect Uses

  • Prevention and control of soil erosion: Forests play a significant role in the prevention and control of soil erosion by water and wind. The destruction of forest cover leads to increased runoff of rain water and its diminished seepage and storage in soil. The structure of the soil suffers, runoff increases and loosens the soil, which is carried away to other regions. The fertility of the soil is thus lost, and it becomes barren and unproductive.
  • Flood control: Roots of the trees absorb much of the rain water and use it slowly during the dry season. Thus they regulate the flow of water and help in controlling the floods. Trees also check the flow of water. With the increased rate of deforestation, the frequency and the intensity of floods in the area also increases.
  • Checks on spread of deserts: Sand particles are blown away by strong winds in the deserts and are carried over long distances, thus resulting in the spread of deserts. The roots of trees and plants bind the sand particles and do not permit their easy transportation by winds. In long run, the forests add humidity to the atmosphere and further help in checking the spread of deserts.
  • Increase in soil fertility: The fallen leaves of trees add humus to soil after their decomposition. Thus, forests help in increasing the fertility of soil.
  • Effect on temperature: Forests have a far reaching effect on climate. They ameliorate the extremes of climate by reducing the heat in summers and cold in winter. They also influence the amount of rainfall by lowering the temperature of moisture laden winds and increase the relative humidity of the air through the process of transpiration. They reduce the surface velocity of winds and retard the process of evaporation.


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