Process of clearing forests. Rates of deforestation are particularly high in the tropics, where the poor quality of the soil has led to the practice of routine clear-cutting to make new soil available for agricultural use. Deforestation can lead to erosion, drought, loss of biodiversity through extinction of plant and animal species, and increased atmospheric carbon dioxide. Many nations have undertaken afforestation or reforestation projects to reverse the effects of deforestation, or to increase available timber. See alsogreenhouse effect.