Clearcutting of forests is a controversial logging practice that has widespread negative implications for the environment. The most apparent consequence is the loss of large areas of habitat supporting numerous species of plants and animals. Other impacts include soil erosion which may alter nearby rivers and water bodies. Loss of fungi, underground worms and bacteria reduces the quality of the soil and make plant species more vulnerable to diseases. Replanted forests are often monocropped where the trees are more subject to diseases like pine beetle infestations, and the fire hazard is typically much higher in mono- than polycropped forests. Clearcutting is a much debated method, and while some argue that clearcutting is beneficial from an economic perspective as the cost of harvesting is low, many environmentalists see clearcutting as an ecological tragedy and that when the environmental costs are taken into consideration, clearcutting is no longer the economically best option.
From album: World Forest Ecosystems