Protective and Ameliorative Functions
1) Forests play a significant role is maintaining the CO2 balance in the atmosphere. Without sufficient forest cover, the CO2 which is released in the atmosphere will not be utilized completely resulting higher per cent of the CO2 in the atmosphere. The CO 2 per cent in the atmosphere has already reached 0.042 per cent against the normal of 0.030 per cent. If this increases continuous higher temperature and other disturbances on the earth may bring about un-imaginable miseries to the mankind.
2) Forests increase local precipitation by about 5 to 10 per cent due to their Geographic and micro-climatic effects.These create condition favorable for the condensation of the clouds.
3) Forests reduce temperature and increase humidity.Temperature in the forests is 3° to 80 less than the adjoining open area.
4) Forests maintain the productivity of the soil by adding a large quantity of organic matter and recycling of nutrients. The leaves of trees are used as manure. Supply of firewood from forests releases dung for the use as manure.
5) Tree crowns reduce the violence of rain and check splash (sound) erosion. Forests, increase infiltration and water holding capacity of the soil resulting in much lower surface run-off. This in turn results in checking of soil erosion.
6) Forests check floods.They intercept 15 to 30 per cent of the total rainfall. They increase infiltration rate and water holding capacity of the soil. This results in reduced surface run-off and checks erosion. Mostly floods are caused due to siltation of river channels, caused due to erosion and higher peak discharges caused due to greater surface run-off.
7) Forests conserve soil and water both.
8) Forests and trees reduce wind velocity considerably.Reduction of wind velocity causes considerable reduction in wind erosion, checks shifting of sand dunes, and halts the process of desertification.
9) Forests, by reducing erosion check the siltation of irrigation and hydral reservoirs.
10) Forests are the store-house of genetic diversity.Several unknown plants may have potential for medicines and food.
11) Forests protect from physical, chemical and noise pollution. Duct and other particulate and gaseous pollutant cause serious problems, forests protect us from such pollutants.
12) Forests and trees provide shelterbelt and windbreak effect which is beneficial to agricultural crops, particularly in arid and semi-arid areas. Shelterbelt and windbreak increase agricultural production.