Revision Notes

21.2 Habitat Destruction

Reasons for Habitat Destruction

  • The increasing human population of the planet is causing destruction of many habitats from rainforest to woodland to marine
  • Many habitats are destroyed by humans to make space for other economic activities, or by pollution from these activities, and this reduces the biodiversity of these areas
  • This interrupts food chains and webs, meaning that more species may die because their prey is gone
  • The main reasons for habitat destruction include:


Habitat Destruction table, IGCSE & GCSE Biology revision notes


  • Deforestation is the clearing of trees (usually on a large scale)
  • If trees are replaced by replanting it can be a sustainable practise
  • Generally the trees are being cleared for the land to be used in a different way (for building, grazing for cattle, planting of monocultures such as palm oil plantations etc) and therefore it is not sustainable
  • As the amount of the Earth’s surface covered by trees decreases, it causes increasingly negative effects on the environment and is a particularly severe example of habitat destruction
  • Undesirable effects of deforestation include:
    • Extinction of species
    • Loss of soil
    • Flooding
    • Increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
Extended Only

Consequences of Deforestation

Consequences of Deforestation table, IGCSE & GCSE Biology revision notes

Author: Jenna

Jenna studied at Cardiff University before training to become a science teacher at the University of Bath specialising in Biology (although she loves teaching all three sciences at GCSE level!). Teaching is her passion, and with 10 years experience teaching across a wide range of specifications – from GCSE and A Level Biology in the UK to IGCSE and IB Biology internationally – she knows what is required to pass those Biology exams.

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