Reforestation is the intentional or natural restocking of the existing woodlands or forests where the initial trees have been depleted especially by an act of deforestation. This is a restorative measure that is normally undertaken either to pacify the devastating effects brought about by deforestation or to serve other purposes like timber harvesting. It is important to note that reforestation is quite different from afforestation by the fact that afforestation is the establishment of trees in an area without an initial tree cover. Destruction of the initial forest or woodland cover is often accompanied by many undesirable outcomes. Perhaps this is what compels people to replant trees and consequently reestablish the lost plant cover.
Causes of reforestation
There are plenty of reasons why people consider to restore the destroyed forests or tree plantation. The effects of deforestation can by themselves be a major contributor to this desire. You would, for example, consider reestablishing the plant cover than to suffer the dismay of dealing with soil erosion. Below are some of the major causes of reforestation:
1. Environmental goals
Trees are normally known to bring order in the environment. They are an important component of the environment, and depletion of it is quite detrimental to its stability. When trees are cut down, the land is left bare and exposed to the agents of environmental destruction. This is a problem that humans are not able to withstand and thus consider reestablishing the cover by planting new trees. Notably, this is a common and important cause of reforestation.
Timber harvesting has been a major cause of deforestation. However, in a controlled method, it provides an incentive for planting new trees. In major tree plantations, tree harvesting is often followed by tree planting as a preparation for future harvesting.
3. Government intervention
At times, the government might set rules that govern tree cutting and replanting. Some states, for example, do forbid against cutting trees without replacement. By doing this, everyone who is involved in deforestation will automatically do reforestation.
As mentioned above, reforestation can either be intentional or natural. Naturally, plant seeds, over time, do sprout and grow to become trees. Animals and other organisms can also be major causes of this process. As slow as it might look, reforestation occurs gradually until the area is covered with trees again.
Effects of reforestation
The effects of reforestation have everything to do with the necessity of trees in the environment. It is a reverse of the damage done during deforestation. The effects include:
1. Protection of endangered plant species.
Conversely to the fact that cutting trees might deplete some species, replanting them can systematically bring the species back to life.
2. Balancing the ecosystem
The dangers brought about by deforestation on the ecosystem can be significantly be reduced by planting new trees. Deforestation causes a distortion on the balance of the ecosystem by destroying habitat. Reforestation restores this.
3. Curb Erosion
Soil erosion is among the most feared damages to the environment. By providing the plant cover, reforestation reduces the impact of soil erosion.
4. A plus to the environment
Fresh air, rainfall among other environmental human needs are associated with the presence of plants. Reforestation brings back the ‘sanity’ in the environment.
In conclusion, therefore, reforestation is intuitively self-instigated. Humans only execute the order of nature, in case they need environmental peace. The impacts of reforestation are generally positive. Though reforestation can be seen as the perfect remedy for deforestation, issues regarding the nature of new plants to those original have been raised. Some plant species have become extinct over a long period of deforestation and reforestation. People should, therefore, cease from cutting trees and if not, reforestation should be done.