How is deforestation related to desertification?
The roots of plants, including trees, bind the soil together and protect it. Removing plants removes the stabilizing effects of the roots on the soil.
Deforestation -removing the majority of trees from an area
Desertification -the process by which fertile land becomes increasingly dry and degrades.
The roots of plants, including trees, bind and hold the soil together. The vegetation itself protects the soil from heavy rainfall and strong winds.
Removing plants removes the stabilizing effects of the roots on the soil. Without vegetation holding the soil in place, it is blown away and transported through wind and water erosion. What is perhaps most harmful is that the topsoil, which is rich in nutrients, is lost to erosion. As more and more soil is lost, the remaining soil is poorly suited to retaining moisture, leading to desertification.
Desertification may be caused by deforestation, although this is not the only cause. If the rate at which moisture is lost from the soil exceeds the rate at which moisture is replenished, desertification may occur. Climate change is another cause of desertification.
You can learn more about the causes and effects of desertification here.