O deforestation caused by human activities greatly accelerates natural erosion. Let's see why.
Instead of falling directly into the ground, much of the rainwater strikes the treetops or leaves of the vegetation, which act as a protective blanket. This greatly reduces the impact of water on the surface. In addition, a root network helps hold soil particles while water flows through the earth. And let us not forget that the treetops protect the soil from the sun's heat and the wind.
By destroying natural vegetation for home building or farming, we are greatly reducing erosion protection. Most plants that feed us have little foliage and therefore do not protect the soil against rainwater so well. Its roots are short and spaced in the plantations, being inefficient to retain soil particles. Finally, many plants - such as corn, sugar cane, beans, and cotton - do not cover the soil all year long, leaving it exposed for a long time. The result is that erosion accelerates and the fertile part is damaged.
Deforestation for cultivation in Marcelândia, MT
With erosion, the accumulation of water-borne land can settle to the bottom of rivers, obstructing their flow. This phenomenon is called siltation and contributes to river overflow and flooding of neighboring areas during rainy periods.
The municipality of Sítio do Mato in western Bahia is being swallowed by the waters and sands of the São Francisco River.
There is yet another problem resulting from deforestation. Without vegetation cover, the slopes of hills are at greater risk of collapse, causing landslides and rocks to collapse, with serious consequences.
When deforestation is done through burnedAnother problem occurs: fire also destroys microorganisms that decompose organic matter and promote the recycling of nutrients needed by plants. The loss of organic matter leaves the soil more exposed to erosion and the action of rainfall, accentuating its impoverishment.
Burning also releases gases into the atmosphere which, when in very high concentration, harm human health. In addition, where burning is carried out uncontrolled, it can spread through environmental protection areas, parks, etc.
For all these reasons, burning should be avoided.
Devastation from the burns