Forest refers to the cover of trees on the surface of earth. These forests are supposed to keep the earth binded together and it is said that if forests did not exist, the earth did not exist. Soil is the thick layer of mud with rocks, silt and other such substances layered in it. Soil erosion is when the soil starts getting broken layer by layer, into fine particles or gets carried away with water. It is said that trees help the earth to prevent the soil from getting eroded and many a times people ask me this question. Let us discuss How all this happens.
How does Forests Prevent Soil Erosion
1. Trees as an Adhesive against Soil Erosion:-
If you apply some adhesive on your fingers and bring them tightly close to each other for some time, the adhesive will make your fingers get stick with each other. Same is the case with trees as well. Trees act as a kind of adhesive for the soil. The roots of trees are deep rooted in soil which makes them act as a kind of binder for soil and in turn helps them prevent soil erosion.
2. Impact of Heavy Rainfall:-
When raindrops fall on mud, they fall with such a great force that they have the ability to rip it up and turn it up to fine particles. Stream of water has the ability to scratch soil layer by layer and take soil away with it, but as I told you that the roots of trees are buried deep in the soil, these roots do not allow soil to be carried away by stream of water.
3. Tree Roots Stabilize Stream Banks:-
Tree roots also stabilize stream banks or else it would have resulted in soil erosion, the trees at bank of any river prevent the size of river from getting increased or else its drift would have eroded the surrounding soil and would have resulted in massive floods. Rivers like Ganga, Jamuna etc. which are always filled with running water have so much drift that they can make a city collapse within no time if they flood its area.
4. Dead Trees Can Cause Fires:-
If there are no trees or there are just dead trees all around, it will cause forest fires. Many a times in jungles, when there is no greenery, but dry wood because of shining sun in summers, many animals die because of forest fires, but in case of rain forests, the trees prevent soil from the impact of rainfall and thus act as protectors rather than destroyers. They support several life forms acting as their habitat or living place as well.
5. Reduces the Deposition of Sediment Behind Hydroelectric Dams:-
Forests also reduce the sediment behind hydroelectric dams (A dam where electricity is made with the help of water collected at a single place) Roots of Trees act as a kind of water suckers. They take water from soil for making their food and thus are deep rooted in the soil. If you cut or chop off all the trees from the bank of a river, the river will soon make all the soil around its banks eroded and will carry it away with its effusion or flow.