|deforestation (dē-fôr'ĭ-stā'shən) Pronunciation Key
The cutting down and removal of all or most of the trees in a forested area. Deforestation can erode soils, contribute to desertification and the pollution of waterways, and decrease biodiversity through the destruction of habitat.
The process of destroying a forest and replacing it with something else. The term is used today to refer to the destruction of forests by human beings and their replacement by agricultural systems.
Note: Deforestation is considered to be a main contributor to the greenhouse effect.