Cultivation in Steep Slopes July 22, 2012 Footer text here17 18. In India pasture land area is decreasing day by day due to expansion of agricultural land. Productivity loss of some crops is given in Table 27.5. 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. (And 3 Ways to Dispose of). During last two decades the area under food crops decreased and that under non-food crops increased. The biological factors affect mainly lessens the microbial activity of the soil. In irrigation these salts are dissolved in soil water and rise to the surface through capillary action. Forms of Water Erosion 3. Impacts of Soil Degradation The effect of soil degradation is not detected as serious global problem up to 2020. Industrial activities, on the other hand, release toxic effluents and material wastes into the atmosphere, land, rivers, and groundwater that eventually pollute the soil and as such, it impacts on soil quality. 3. Content Guidelines 2. To fill this knowledge gap, soil degradation simply means the decline in soil quality which comes about due to aspects such as improper land use, agriculture, and pasture, urban or industrial purposes. Hence, the contributing factors to soil quality decline such as overgrazing, poor tillage methods, and deforestation are also the leading causes of desertification characterized by droughts and arid conditions. Governments, international organizations, and other environmental stakeholders need to ensure there are appropriate measures for making zero net deforestation a reality so as to inhibit soil degradation. The degradation of our soils, due to human activities, today, can harm our well-being. Chemical factors e.g. The tillage on agricultural lands is one of the main factors since it breaks up the soil into finer particles, which increase erosion rates. Causes of Soil Degradation Unsustainable Land management Practices i. Deforestation. This causes a cycle as floods can degrade soil, and soil degradation can cause floods. Soil Degradation Ann Verdoodt Academic Year 2011-2012 Compilation of course notes by Prof. Donald Gabriëls and new materials by Prof. Ann Verdoodt This may include activities such as the addition of plant residues to degraded soils and improving range management. Excessive soil degradation thus gives rise to immediate and long-term impacts which translate into serious global environmental headaches. In addition to erosion, soil quality is affected by other aspects of agriculture. Soil degradation, defined as lowering and losing of soil functions, is becoming more and more serious worldwide in recent decades, and poses a threat to agricultural production and terrestrial ecosystem. The nodulation and growth of some leguminous crops and nitrogen fixation are inhibited by different pesticides. These are very real and at times severe issues. One of the topics studied in GCSE Geography is soil erosion and degradation. 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. 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. 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. 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). Resources Soil erosion is a naturally occurring process that affects all landforms. Degradation of Natural Resources | Environment, Biosciences, Engineering and Technology (With Diagram). In the same context, soil degradation may also bring about loss of biodiversity. Biological factors which affect the micro-flora and reduce the microbial activity of the soil. The water-logging and salinity cause a loss of Rs. Soils become water-logged when the water balance of an area is disturbed because of excess recharge. The degradation or deterioration of soil may be caused by the following factors: 1. Effects of Water Erosion 4. In some cases farmers use more fertilizer inputs to compensate reduced soil productivity while in other cases, they use excess fertilizers. These elements contribute to a significant amount of soil quality depreciation annually. 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. Foremost of all, it denudates the soil’s vegetation cover, compacts soil during construction, and alters the drainage pattern. Additional information about the process of compaction is available on the VRO website. Chemical factors such as the depletion of nutrients or the toxicity due to acidity or alkalinity (salinization) or waterlogging. The rate of siltation in many water reservoirs are significantly high. Intensive cultivation leads to removal of large quantities of nutrients from the soil which results to in loss of soil fertility. Indirectly it lowers productivity through its adverse effects on the availability of nutrients. Because soil degradation contributes to land degradation, it also means that it creates a significant loss of arable land. Soil degradation has several adverse impacts on the environment. With time, the sedimentation process can clog waterways, resulting in water scarcity. In warm climates, they also preserve moisture. These protect the soil while returning nutrients and plant matter too. ), Are Mirrors Recyclable? 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. depletion of nutrients or the toxicity due to acidity or alkalinity (salinization) or water logging. The annual loss of land is expected to go up to 10 million hectares by 2000 A.D.(Yadava 1996). Soil degradation is the loss of land’s production capacity in terms of loss of soil fertility, soil biodiversity, and degradation. For this reason, the transformed land is unable to soak up water, making flooding more frequent. The outcomes of soil erosion are reduced agricultural productivity, ecological collapse, soil degradation, and the possibility of desertification. Are Wood-burning Stoves Bad For The Environment? Soil degradation is a complex phenomenon derived by interaction between natural and socio economic factors. Deforestation: Forests play an important role in maintaining fertility of soil by shedding their leaves … 89 billion to 232 billion which represent a loss of 11 to 26 per cent yield (Table 27.6). The causes of land degradation can be divided into natural hazards, direct causes, and underlying causes. While soil degradation may occur naturally, it has been highly exuberated by anthropogenic activities. 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. 1. However, deforestation can be cut down and this can create an impressive way of reshaping and restoring forests and vegetation cover. 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. The latest data revealed that erosion has rendered 200 million hectares or 36% of the total area of the country barren (Table 27.1). 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. Recent satellite data show that the area under pasture land is severely degraded. Silting of drainage, canals, rivers and reservoirs results in increased floods and droughts. The factors below can trigger degradation or deterioration of the soil; For example, physical causes involve the depletion of fertile topsoil due to water or wind erosion. Disclaimer Copyright, Share Your Knowledge 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… Rainfall, surface runoff, floods, wind erosion, tillage, and mass movements result in the loss of fertile top spoil thereby declining soil quality. By the end of this topic, you will know how different forms of human activities are responsible for the majority of different types of soil pollution. Vegetation cover primarily promotes the binding of the soil together and soil formation, hence when it is removed it considerably affects the capabilities of the soil such as aeration, water holding capacity, and biological activity. Recognizing The Challenges with Preventing Or Solving Land Degradation With the objective of understanding the distinct nature of soil quality decline, here are the various causes, effects, and solutions of soil degradation. Compost Pile vs Bin – Which One is Right For You? Organic matter is rapidly decomposed and leached or eroded by heavy rains. 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 impact of mining on soil depends on the physical, chemical properties of the waste generated. 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. Avoiding soil degradation is crucial to our well-being. 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. These chemical factors normally bring forth the irreversible loss of soil nutrients and production capacities such as the hardening of iron and aluminum-rich clay soils into hardpans. Privacy Policy3. TOS4. The costs of preventing salinization are incredibly cheaper than the reclamation projects in salinized areas. Organic farmers who add compost and manure to the soil replenish nutrients while reducing flooding risk and capturing carbon. Nearly 10 million hectares of arable land are lost to erosion and other forms of soil degradation every year [1].. Countries all over the world are battling with worrisome sight of deepening gullies crisscrossing the landscape and barren fields stripped of the fertile topsoil. All these physical factors produce different types of soil erosion (mainly water and wind erosion) and soil detachment actions, and their resultant physical forces eventually change the composition and structure of the soil by wearing away the soil’s top layer as well as organic matter. Overgrazing destroys surface crop cover and breaks down soil particles, increasing the rates of soil erosion. The problem is more severe in the cultivated areas of the subtropical belt. 2. Share Your Word File 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). In the past 150 years half the topsoil on the planet has been lost. The saline degradation is due to natural causes and poor irrigation practices which disturb the water cycle in areas. Just like the old adage states that “prevention is better than cure,” so does the same concept apply in solving the worldwide problem of soil degradation through salinization. The main reasons for unproductiveness or degradation of soils are as follows: Most of the Indian soils are deficient in nutrients and organic matter. Natural hazards are excluded as a cause; however human activities can indirectly affect phenomena such as floods and bush fires. It refers to the advancement of the desert into the adjoining regions, thereby affecting the fertility of nearby lands. If the loss of nutrients due to soil erosion is included, the loss of nutrients from top soil is 43 million tonnes. 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. Excess use of pesticide reduces microbial activity and biomass. Biological factors refer to the human and plant activities that tend to reduce the quality of the soil. Soil erosion: Among the agents, water is considered as the main cause of soil erosion. Thus soil becomes deficient in essential minerals and this results in productivity loss. Although the yield can be maintained by using fertilizers that provide deficient minerals yet their use often results in deficiencies of other nutrients. Deforestation or destruction of forests accompanied by reduced frequency of rainfall leads to soil erosion and causes damage to agriculture property. Chemical considerations such as mineral degradation or the damage induced by acidity or alkalinity (salinization) or waterlogging. Soil is chiefly polluted by industrial and mining activities. Physical factors, e.g. Of the world’s total land area of 13.5 billion hectares, only 3.03 billion hectares (22 per cent) is actually cultivable and about 2 billion hectares is degraded. The decline in soil quality as a result of agricultural chemical fertilizers also further leads to water and land pollution thereby lowering the land’s worth on earth. Soil degradation is a global process, but sub-Saharan Africa is affected most, with arid and semi-arid zones being particularly affected. Plants act as protective covers as they are helpful at making the soil stronger by stabilizing the land surface. The erodible material is almost devoid of organic matter and lacks in mineral plant nutrients. Deficient in essential minerals and this results in increased floods and droughts water towards. 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