Wood Products

Flora rapidly takes up the nutrients found in tropical soil. Also, decaying organic material is quickly used, leaving only a thin layer of organic material. As a result, there is only a thin layer of nutrient-rich soil on the tropical forest floor.

Logging for timber and wood products can wipe out vast areas of forest in a single day, leaving behind this poor, thin, acidic soil. The thin soil is then easily washed away by tropical rains, quickly baked by the strong sun, and rapidly blown away. This leaves behind an infertile wasteland that erodes much faster than forested lands.

In addition, logging also encourages road production for transport of the industrial goods, and likewise encourages humans to develop and clear out the previously forested area.

photo M. Noonan


CAC is a program of the Institute for the Study of Human-Animal Relations at Canisius College in Buffalo, NY.