The Effects of Destroying the Tropical Rainforests
When the trees are cut down it takes away the habitat of the plants and animals. It also reduces the space for the indigenous people who have lived there for thousands of years. These people used the available resources by hunting, fishing, gathering and farming. This way of life has died out with contact from incomers. Some native groups suffered greatly from diseases which they had no resistance to. People are also tempted into the modern lifestyles in the larger settlements, which can have social problems.
Fauna and FloraDeforestation has led to the loss of thousands of species of insects, animals and plants. It means that important chemicals that could be used for medical purposes have not been found and will be lost.
The SoilRemoving the vegetation cover exposes the soil to erosion and leaching. Without the branches and leaves to break its fall, heavy tropical storms can quickly wash the soil from even an gentle slope. Cutting down the trees also takes away the roots which helps bind the soils together. The soil can quickly silt up rivers and lakes.
Even if the soil is not completly removed the nutrients may be leached out as the rainfall seeps down through the soil. Soils lose their fertility after only a few years, and this causes problems for commercial arable farmers.
The ClimateThe climate of the area becomes drier with the loss of the vegetation which acts as a "sponge" to hold on to the moisture. Having less cloud cover means the increase in temperatures. Both the burning of the trees and their reduced number increases the concentration of carbon dioxide. The extra carbon dioxide is believed to contribute to global warming, which in turn is blamed for the rise in sea level.