ii. Drought and aridity are problems highly influenced and amplified by soil degradation. Effects of Wind Erosion 6. These are very real and at times severe issues. It also contributes to the displacement of populations and the multiplication of conflicts. Deforestation causes soil degradation on the account of exposing soil minerals by removing trees and crop cover, which support the availability of humus and litter layers on the surface of the soil. A major part of soil depletion is due to the lands over-use and the products that we pour on it. inhibit nitrification. (With Methods)| Industrial Microbiology, How is Cheese Made Step by Step: Principles, Production and Process, Enzyme Production and Purification: Extraction & Separation Methods | Industrial Microbiology, Fermentation of Olives: Process, Control, Problems, Abnormalities and Developments, The best answers are voted up and rise to the top. Unless you strongly believe in Elon Musk‘s idea of making Mars as another habitable planet, do remember that there really is no 'Planet B' in this whole universe. Welcome to BiologyDiscussion! It also sends soil-laden water downstream, which can create heavy layers of sediment that prevent streams and rivers from flowing smoothly and can eventually lead to flooding. The effects of soil erosion go beyond the loss of fertile land. Overgrazing directly leads to disappearance of vegetation which is one of the important causes of wind and water erosion in dry lands. Land reclamation encompasses activities centered towards restoring the previous organic matter and soil’s vital minerals. In the past 150 years half the topsoil on the planet has been lost. Soil degradation has been defined as a process that leads to decline in the fertility or future productive capacity of soil as a result of human activity (United Nations Environment Programme, 1993). (And Are They Reusable), Are Light Bulbs Recyclable? Natural events such as wildfires, hurricanes, landslides, tsunamis and earthquakes can totally lower the survival grade of local animal communities and plant life in a region. ), Are Mirrors Recyclable? The latest data provided by Sehgal and Abrol (1994) show that the total degraded land in India is 187.8 million ha, of which 162.4 million ha is degraded due to soil erosion alone (Table 27.6). These impacts include compaction, loss of soil structure, nutrient degradation, and soil salinity. Among the major causes of degradation, water erosion is considered to be the most severe one which covers almost 87% of the affected area. Rainfall, surface runoff, floods, wind erosion, tillage, and mass movements result in the loss of fertile top spoil thereby declining soil quality.All these physical factors produces different types of soil erosion (mainly water and wind erosion) and soil detachment actions, and t… An area of about 21.7 million hectares of soil is rendered unproductive due to salinity and water-logging. Most of the soil eroded from the land together with the chemical fertilizers and pesticides utilized in agricultural fields are discharged into waterways and streams. Also, preserving the integrity of guarded areas can significantly reduce demonstration. Silting of drainage, canals, rivers and reservoirs results in increased floods and droughts. Soil degradation examples include a decline in soil fertility, adverse changes in alkalinity, acidity or salinity, extreme flooding, use of toxic soil pollutants, erosion, and deterioration of the soil’s structural condition. Additional information about the process of compaction is available on the VRO website. Faulty irrigation projects have resulted not only in the soil infertility, they have also decreased water table of the country’s largest lakes by 80 percent and more, exposing shores to the effects of rapid drying out and land degradation [14]. The degradation or deterioration of soil may be caused by the following factors: 1. The biological factors affect mainly lessens the microbial activity of the soil. The excessive use and the misuse of pesticides and chemical fertilizers kill organisms that assist in binding the soil together. Salinity directly affects the productivity by making the soil unsuitable for crop growth. Name the types of nitrogenous bases present in the RNA. Excessive soil degradation thus gives rise to immediate and long-term impacts which translate into serious global environmental headaches. About 40% of the world’s agricultural land is severely diminished in quality because of erosion and the use of chemical fertilizers, which prevent the land from regenerating. The adverse effect of alkalinity on availability of nutrients is due to deflocculating effect of sodium ions. Soil erosion is the most serious precursor of soil degradation that comes with global implications. Degradation leads to reduction in crop yield in the affected lands and a possible decline in cropping intensity. 2. According to Global Assessment of Soil Degradation (GLASOD), deforestation is the main cause of soil erosion by wind in about 98% of the area. Productivity loss of some crops is given in Table 27.5. Soil fertility is reduced due to prolonged intensive cultivation. Thus, soil erosion is a continuous process and may occur either at a relatively unnoticed rate or an alarming rate contributing to copious loss of the topsoil. Waste lands are those which for one or the other reason have poor life sustaining property. The land is commonly altered from its natural landscape when it rids its physical composition from soil degradation. Trafficking (by animals as well as by vehicles) and cultivation are the primary causes of this form of soil degradation. Top 5 of the World’s Most Wasteful Megacities, 25+ Spectacular Facts About the Amazon Rainforest That You May Not Know About, deforestation are also the leading causes, Can You Recycle Shaving Cream Cans? Chemical factors such as the depletion of nutrients or the toxicity due to acidity or alkalinity (salinization) or waterlogging. According to an estimate of 1992, every year 20.2 million tonnes of NPK is removed by growing crops. In India alone, about 188 million hectares or almost 57% of total land area is degraded (Sehgel and Abrol, 1994). Overgrazing destroys surface crop cover and breaks down soil particles, increasing the rates of soil erosion. There are several physical factors contributing to soil degradation distinguished by the manners in which they change the natural composition and structure of the soil. Mining disturbs the physical, chemical and biological features of the soil. It involves the decline of the soil’s physical, biological, and chemical state. Deforestation causes fast degradation when the soil is steep sloppy or easily erodible. In other words, soil degradation takes away the soil’s natural capability of holding water thus contributing to more and more cases of flooding. It refers to the advancement of the desert into the adjoining regions, thereby affecting the fertility of nearby lands. With the reduction of deforestation, soil’s ability to naturally regenerate can be restored. It is viewed as any change or disturbance to the land perceived to be deleterious or undesirable. Plants act as protective covers as they are helpful at making the soil stronger by stabilizing the land surface. Conservation Measures 9. The outcomes of soil erosion are reduced agricultural productivity, ecological collapse, soil degradation, and the possibility of desertification. Soils are a fundamental natural resource, and are the basis for all terrestrial life. The topography of the land may also be a cause of soil erosion. Effects of Tillage Erosion 8. Soil degradation has several adverse impacts on the environment. (And Simple Ways to Reuse Old Mirrors), Can You Compost Coffee Grounds? Recognizing The Challenges with Preventing Or Solving Land Degradation According to a Pereira and Muñoz-Rojas (2017) synthesis, soil erosion is one of the major causes, evidence of, and key variables used to assess and understand land degradation. According to Central Water Commission (1991), nearly 11 per cent of the total capacity of water reservoirs has been silted. Rainfall, surface runoff, floods, wind erosion, tillage, and mass movements result in the loss of fertile top spoil thereby declining soil quality. The agricultural fertilizers and pesticides also damage marine and freshwater ecosystems and limit the domestic uses of the water for the populations that depend on them for survival. Soil Nutrient Mining iii. It causes the extinction of species and accentuates climate change. Thus soil becomes deficient in essential minerals and this results in productivity loss. Soil degradation is a complex phenomenon derived by interaction between natural and socio economic factors. Desertification. Replace goodness. The data published by National Bureau of Soil Survey and Land Use Planning (Sehgal and Abrol, 1994) show that about 3.7 million ha land suffers from nutrient loss or depletion of organic matter. The problem is more severe in the cultivated areas of the subtropical belt. Soil erosion can either be caused by natural forces like wind or water or can be caused by human behavior like deforestation or the building of dams. Many people do conceive the idea of soil degradation but a good number lacks the knowledge of its precise definition. 3. Water Erosion 2. Founded Conserve Energy Future with the sole motto of providing helpful information related to our rapidly depleting environment. (And Should We Stop Camping? Extension of cultivation to marginal land: Due to tremendous population increase the use of land is increasing day by day. In the same context, soil degradation may also bring about loss of biodiversity. The slope of the land. Most of the crops in India are affected due to salinity. Hence, there is a necessity for individuals all over the world to respect forest cover and reduce some of the human-driven actions that encourage logging. Answer Now and help others. Chemical considerations such as mineral degradation or the damage induced by acidity or alkalinity (salinization) or waterlogging. 70% of agricultural land suited for raising livestock or crops is already degraded in Africa (FAO, 2011). The saline degradation is due to natural causes and poor irrigation practices which disturb the water cycle in areas. Again, most of the runoff and sediments from urban areas are extremely polluted with oil, fuel, and other chemicals. Our mission is to provide an online platform to help students to share notes in Biology. Why mitochondria is called as the power house of the cell? There are certain agricultural practices that are environmentally unsustainable and at the same time, they are the single biggest contributor to the worldwide increase in soil quality decline. What are antibiotics? 6. Due to shortage of land, increase of population and economic pressure, the farmers have adopted intensive cropping patterns of commercial crops in place of more balanced cereal-legume rotations. It is estimated that nearly 2 billion ha of soil resources in the world have been degraded, namely approximately 22% of the total cropland, pasture, forest, and woodland. Soil degradation is the decline in soil condition caused by its improper use or poor management, usually for agricultural, industrial or urban purposes. A diagrammatic representation of the causes of soil acidity showing the importance of product removal and nitrate leaching in the process . Soil quality decline is one of the main causes of land degradation and is considered to be responsible for 84% of the ever-diminishing acreage. This may include activities such as the addition of plant residues to degraded soils and improving range management. This poor condition of pasture lands is due to excessive grazing. In some cases farmers use more fertilizer inputs to compensate reduced soil productivity while in other cases, they use excess fertilizers. Overgrazing and cultivation practices that are not adapted to local environments are the principal causes of soil degradation. Natural basins without outlet for water, low permeability of subsurface horizons, internal drainage, low intake rate of surface soils and obstructions to natural flow of rain water etc. There are several physical factors contributing to soil degradation distinguished by the manners in which they change the natural composition and structure of the soil. The causes of land degradation can be divided into natural hazards, direct causes, and underlying causes. loss of fertile top soil due to water or wind erosion. The soil quality decline is exuberated more and more as a result of the mechanization of agriculture that gives room for deep plowing, reduction of plant cover, and the formation of the hardpan. The reduction of soil nutrients because of alkalinity or acidity or waterlogging are all categorized under the chemical components of soil degradation. To restore the lost soil mineral matter and organic content, it would require what is known as land reclamation. Rainfall, surface runoff, floods, wind erosion, tillage, and mass movements result in the loss of fertile top spoil thereby declining soil quality. Applications of some pesticide chemicals (e.g., amitrole, atrazine, bromacil, picloram, etc.) Organic matter is rapidly decomposed and leached or eroded by heavy rains. As an example, mining destroys crop cover and releases a myriad of toxic chemicals such as mercury into the soil thereby poisoning it and rendering it unproductive for any other purpose. Causes of Soil Erosion #3 Soil erosion gets worse These include erosion, deforestation and overgrazing, flooding and water logging, salination, desertification and ill- planned urbanization. It affects global climate through alterations in water cycle and energy balances and disruptions of carbon, nitrogen and sulphur cycles. The farmers maintain productivity of soil by applying chemical fertilizers but make less use of organic manures. Examples include leaving the previous year’s crop residue on the surface to shield the soil from erosion and avoiding poor tillage methods such as deep plowing. Some of the contributing activities include logging and slash and burn techniques used by individuals who invade forest areas for farming, rendering the soils unproductive and less fertile in the end. Waterlogging and soil salinization is the important causes of soil degradation in Northwest India, particularly the states of Punjab, Haryana, and Rajasthan. It is mainly caused by salt buildup and leaching of nutrients which corrupt the quality of soil by creating undesirable changes in the essential soil chemical ingredients. Wind Erosion 5. The outcomes of soil erosion and quality decline are widely irreversible. 1. LAND DEGRADATION : Soil quality decline is one of the main causes of land degradation and it considered to be responsible for 84% of the every diminishing acres (FAO, 2011). Natural Causes Despite the fact that environmental degradation is under normal circumstances associated with anthropogenic activities, natural causes are also contributors. Secondly, it covers the soil in an impermeable layer of concrete that amplifies the amount of surface runoff which results in more erosion of the topsoil. Although the yield can be maintained by using fertilizers that provide deficient minerals yet their use often results in deficiencies of other nutrients. Most agricultural practices involving the use of fertilizers and pesticides often entail misuse or excessive application, thereby contributing to the killing of soil’s beneficial bacteria and other micro-organisms that help in soil formation. Soils become water-logged when the water balance of an area is disturbed because of excess recharge. Before sharing your knowledge on this site, please read the following pages: 1. Year after year, huge acres of land lost due to soil erosion, contamination, and pollution. This is a global problem. Soil is chiefly polluted by industrial and mining activities. A study of the current trends in agronomic practices has suggested that the nutrients deficiency is further aggravated by continued use of high yielding crop varieties, intensive cropping pattern and relatively poor fertilizers. In India pasture land area is decreasing day by day due to expansion of agricultural land. During last two decades the area under food crops decreased and that under non-food crops increased. In irrigation these salts are dissolved in soil water and rise to the surface through capillary action. These protect the soil while returning nutrients and plant matter too. 4. Privacy Policy3. The costs of preventing salinization are incredibly cheaper than the reclamation projects in salinized areas. 3. Soil degradation is the loss of land’s production capacity in terms of loss of soil fertility, soil biodiversity, and degradation. are conditions cause water logging. These factors reduce the yield. The fatal nematodes threaten potato cultivation in the Nilgiris and, if not controlled they may pose threat to potato cultivation in that area. All these physical factors produces different types of soil erosion (mainly water and wind erosion) and soil detachment actions, and t… Land degradation is a process in which the value of the biophysical environment is affected by a combination of human-induced processes acting upon the land. 5. Natural hazards are excluded as a cause; however human activities can indirectly affect phenomena such as floods and bush fires. Still, soil organic matter and plant nutrients can be replenished. The erodible material is almost devoid of organic matter and lacks in mineral plant nutrients. The degradation of our soils, due to human activities, today, can harm our well-being. During last decade the nutrients deficiency has been considered as the main cause of poor productivity and crop failure. Some other factors as deforestation, extensive cultivation on marginal land, improper cultivation practices like mono-cropping, poor manuring, misuse of fertilizers or excess use of fertilizers, excessive irrigation, over-grazing, fragility of soil, adverse weather and mining may accelerate the process of soil degradation. The nation that destroys its soil, destroys itself. The following are the impacts of soil degradation: 1. The nodulation and growth of some leguminous crops and nitrogen fixation are inhibited by different pesticides. 12 billion to 27 billion annually. Main agents of soil erosion are (1) Water, (2) Wind, (3) Waves and (4) Glaciers Removal of the top layer of soil by various means, which include both natural events and human activities, is called as soil erosion. This website includes study notes, research papers, essays, articles and other allied information submitted by visitors like YOU. One of the simplest but most forgotten methods of land reclamation is the planting of vegetation such as trees, crops, and flowers over the affected soils. Soil erosion is a consequence of unsustainable land use and other disturbances, such as fire, mining, or intensive agricultural uses. Excess use of pesticide reduces microbial activity and biomass. These factors reduce the yield. Explain its significance. Overgrazing, cutting of timber trees, collection of fuel wood, shifting cultivation and encroachment of forest areas are some of the important factors responsible for the loss of vegetation cover on the soil which ultimately causes soil erosion. Avoiding deforestation completely is an uphill task. Physical factors, e.g. TOS4. What causes this to happen? Proper tillage mechanisms hold as one of the most sustainable ways of avoiding soil quality decline. The water-logging and salinity cause a loss of Rs. 89 billion to 232 billion which represent a loss of 11 to 26 per cent yield (Table 27.6). While soil degradation may occur naturally, it has been highly exuberated by anthropogenic activities. Soil degradation causes include agricultural, industrial, and commercial pollution; loss of arable land due to urban expansion, overgrazing, and unsustainable agricultural practices; and long-term climatic changes. 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