The effects of cutting down trees on the ecosystem

Updated February 21, 2017

Cutting down trees is necessary to produce wood for construction, paper and other applications, but logging and other activities that kill trees can potentially lead to negative impacts on ecosystems and the environment as a whole.


Large scale tree cutting can lead to deforestation, a transformation of an area from forest to terrain with little vegetation. Plants create oxygen and absorb greenhouse gases. The destruction of trees may, therefore, encourage global warming. Changing temperatures can alter which organisms can survive in an ecosystem.


Cutting trees can result in the loss of habitat for animal species, which can harm ecosystems. According to National Geographic, "70 per cent of Earth's land animals and plants live in forests, and many cannot survive the deforestation that destroys their homes."


Tropical forests like the Amazon rainforest promote a cycle of evaporation and rainfall. Loss of the rainforests could result in warmer and drier climates near the tropics, according to NASA, which could destroy ecosystems that many animal and plants depend on.

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About the Author

Gregory Hamel has been a writer since September 2008 and has also authored three novels. He has a Bachelor of Arts in economics from St. Olaf College. Hamel maintains a blog focused on massive open online courses and computer programming.