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Deforestation

Loss Of A Renewable Resource

Potentially, forests are a renewable natural resource that can be sustainably harvested to gain a number of economically important products, including lumber, pulp for the manufacture of paper, and fuelwood to produce energy. Forests also provide habitat for game species and also for the much greater diversity of animals that are not hunted for sport or food. In addition, forests sustain important ecological services related to clean air and water and the control of erosion.

Any loss of forest area detracts from these important benefits and represents the depletion of an important natural resource. Forest harvesting and management can be conducted in ways that encourage the regeneration of another forest after a period of recovery. However, this does not happen in the cases of agricultural conversion and some types of unsustainable forest harvesting. In such cases, the forest is "mined" rather than treated as a renewable natural resource, and its area is diminished.


Additional topics

Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Cyanohydrins to Departments of philosophy:Deforestation - Historical Deforestation, Deforestation Today, Loss Of A Renewable Resource, Deforestation And Biodiversity, Deforestation And The Greenhouse Effect