The consequences of these include soil erosion, the loss of soil nutrients, changes to the amount of salt in the soil, and disruptions to the carbon, nitrogen and water cycles – collectively known as land degradation. Today, the fastest-growing section of the global funding mechanism (the Global Environment Facility, GEF), which supports the incremental cost of developing countries' efforts to comply with the international environment-development conventions, is for land degradation projects. Land degradation has been advanced as ‘the single most pressing current global problem’ (O'Riordan 2000). Degradation of soil as a result of Erosion 2. It can be prevented by formation of ridge and furrow during irrigation which lessens run off. Jenkins, in Encyclopedia of Atmospheric Sciences, 2003. Zulfiqar Ahmad, ... Azeem Khalid, in Advances in Agronomy, 2018. Prohibited Content 3. Read this article to learn about the meaning, factors responsible, prevention and control measures of land degradation: The change in the characteristic and quality of soil which adversely affect its fertility is called as Degradation. Humans have cut, grazed, and burned these lands for thousands of years, leaving virtually no natural vegetation and resulting in extensive soil erosion. FAO has a mandate to: support its member countries and partners in developing or reforming norms, standards and policies; provide technical advice; and implement national and local programmes through capacity development and technical knowledge management activities. Continuous cropping activities on a piece of land leads to land degradation.This land degradation is a result of uprooting of farm produce, use farm machine, wearing away of topmost soil due to … The 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro revived interest. The degradation comes from several sources but it is mainly from extensive agriculture. The issue of land degradation is further contributing to the loss of production. In terms of severity, the Sudano-Sahelian region in Africa is the most affected region of the world. Land degradation here mainly refers to the loss of life-supporting land resource through soil erosion, desertification, salinization, acidification, etc. Compliance involved using research outputs such as the ‘Universal Soil Loss Equation’ which calculated rates of soil loss for various planned land uses, comparing these with a benchmark known as the ‘tolerable soil loss,’ a rate at which it was said that future production would not be jeopardized. This usually checks or reduces the velocity of run off so that soil support vegetation. Land degradation leads to the reduction or loss of the Acidification, compaction and salinization are some other causes of agricultural land degradation. Land degradation has many negative impacts on agriculture and environment. Land degradation therefore increases the vulnerability of marginal environments and societies. Deforestation accounts for the major land degradation problem as it results in severe soil erosion, flood, and loss of fertile soil. Understanding the complexity of the numerous and interacting socioeconomic and biophysical causal factors underlying land degradation and the problems of modern agriculture in the tropics and subtropics is difficult. Eastern Africa including Ethiopia has experienced moderate to severe land degradation problems as shown in Figure 10. Examples include:-. These biosurfactants are also involved in biofilm formation and can also interact with various microbial proteins. ... Generally associated … 3. Loss of natural fertility of soil because of loss of nutrients. In Southern Rhodesia, research evidence of the potential seriousness of erosion directly led to the formation of the Department of Conservation and Extension (CONEX), which carried out major conservation planning and design works throughout the country. As a consequence, crop yields decline as the soil fertility is depleted. Land degradation may be caused by i.e. High population pressure, especially in the highland, has led to a decline in arable area, which in turn led to agricultural encroachment onto marginal areas. International researchers – representing a wide range of disciplines such as ecology, atmospheric science, social sciences, policy, and integrated assessment – must work together to successfully address this pressing global problem. Farmers were obliged by law to comply with conservation planning regulations and procedures. In the past several decades, desertification has become a devastating problem of global concern. Causes include: The National Bureau of Soil Survey and Land Use Planning (NBSS&LUP) estimates projected an area of 187 mha as degraded lands in 19… Headlined ‘drought,’ its main impact came through widespread crop and grazing land failure due to the reduced capability of the degraded soils to support plant growth. Land degradation is the process of deterioration of soil or loss of fertility of soil. This should involve the adoption of sustainable land use practices as well as the restoration and protection of any degraded or marginal soils to ensuring food security for an increasing population demand. The International Food Policy Research Institute uses such data to show that, while food production may largely be maintained by ever-increasing inputs, there are ‘hotspots’ of serious land degradation in vulnerable places such as north-east Thailand, northern China, and many African drylands (Scherr and Yadav 1996). Without the protection of plants, the loose well-plowed soil easily develops into sand dunes under the strong wind impact. It was an insidious enemy, often masquerading under other names (see Desertification). An optimum mix of fertilizer, along with sound crop management practices is required for reducing the issue of land degradation. Conversion of primary to Land degradation means: 1) Loss of natural fertility of soil because of loss of nutrients. Desertification also affects North America, the Middle East, Australia, and some European countries in the Mediterranean area. Thus, there is a global interest not only in exploring the green technologies for remediation of such problematic soils but also in devising strategies for sustainable plant protection and improvement of crop yields. Nevertheless, in the search for sustainable global futures, land degradation has once again come to the fore. Land degradation is defined as the temporary or permanent decline in the productive capacity of the land, and the diminution of the productive potential, including its major land uses (e.g., rain-fed arable, irrigation, forests), its farming systems (e.g., smallholder subsistence), and its value as an economic resource. Unsustainable agricultural practices include: Based on the chemical characteristics of the biosurfactants, the pollutants, and the physiology of the microorganisms, both stimulating and inhibitory effects of biosurfactants have been reported (Van Hamme et al., 2006). Its drivers are related to both human activity and the climate,and depend on the specific context. This causes the buildup of chemicals harmful to plant growth. 2. It is one of the agricultural practice in which different crops are grown in same area following a rotation system which helps in replenishment of the soil. Desertification (land degradation in drylands) is the loss of biological and economic productivity, and biodiversity in arid and semiarid croplands, pastures, rangelands, and subhumid woodlands of the world. Various remediation technologies are being used for restoration of natural resources but most of them have additional impacts and are not ecologically safe. Plagiarism Prevention 4. The net result highlighted by this conceptual cycle of land degradation and social deprivation is that in developing countries where farmers are poor and must rely on a small piece of land for all their household needs, the benefits expected from existing agricultural technologies, such as improved crop varieties and livestock breeds, are constrained by a need for income to purchase the inputs essential for food production. Desertification refers to land degradation in arid, semi-arid, and dry semi-humid areas resulting from various human impacts. Concern about degradation, particularly the processes of soil erosion, has fuelled many campaigns to combat it, and spawned numerous institutions to address it. Land degradation is defined as the temporary or permanent decline in the productive capacity of the land, and the diminution of the productive potential, including its major land uses (e.g., rain-fed arable, irrigation, forests), its farming systems (e.g., smallholder subsistence), and its value as an economic resource. In the case of overcultivation of marginal lands, land is cleared of natural vegetation for agriculture, but is then abandoned after crop failure. For reasons outlined above, poor farmers are led to clear forest, cultivate steep slopes without conservation, overgraze rangelands, make unbalanced fertilizer applications, and the other causes noted above. Some of the main reasons for this are use of harmful pesticides and fertilizers that affected the fertility levels of the soil after the initial harvests, indiscriminate extraction of groundwater leading to reduced water tables, and increased salinity of the soil. Deforestation is taking place at a faster rate due to increasing demands of timber, fuel and forest products which results into degradation of land resources. Under this condition, irrigation water fills all the soil pores in the root zone and obstructs the gas exchange between soil and air. We hope this will be of use to scientists from different disciplines that are involved in ecological restoration projects and can stimulate meaningful interdisciplinary cooperation in this field. Changes in the characteristic of soil. Content Filtrations 6. (2009), out of the country's total geographical area of 328.73 million, 57% is either desertified or degraded. It reduces the land's potential for biological productivity, and causes conversion of productive lands used for pasture and agriculture into desert-like conditions. Desertification can be measured by the loss of ecosystem productivity it causes, and ranges from slight to severe. In colonial Africa, for example, the Federation of the Rhodesias and Nyasaland funded the largest ever soil conservation research program on the continent between 1953 and 1965 to investigate rates of erosion and runoff, as well as the effectiveness of conservation and types of land use. Extensive forest fires throughout the Mediterranean in the early 1990s, which resulted in extensive soil erosion, runoff, and flooding, had a major impact on the public perception of land degradation. The causes of land degradation can be divided into natural hazards, direct causes, and underlying causes. Another destructive agricultural practice is the ‘slashing and burning’ of natural perennial vegetation, including trees and shrubs, to clear land for annual agriculture. Land degradation caused by agriculture takes many forms and has many causes. The modern agricultural practises, excessive use of fertilizers and pesticides has adversely degraded the natural quality and fertility of the cultivation land. It affects the land's capacity to supply ecosystem services, such as producing food or hosting biodiversity, to mention the most well-known ones. The reduced fertility and the increased water stress cause the land's productivity to drop, which then further degrades the vegetation cover. There are several different processes associated with the desertification phenomenon: degradation of vegetation cover; soil erosion; soil compaction; and waterlogging and salinization in irrigated lands. Soil erosion is one of the factors responsible for lad degradation. ... Inappropriate land management practices refer to the use of land in ways which could be sustainable if properly managed, but where the necessary practices are not adopted. Some of the science underpinning these procedures is now known to be flawed (Stocking 1996a). Copyright © 2021 Elsevier B.V. or its licensors or contributors. Land represents a key asset for the livelihoods of the rural poor, as it provides key resources such as food, energy, shelter, and ... agricultural and forestry practices, climate change, urban expansion, infrastructure development, and extractive industry [1]. These factors make dry lands subject to anthropogenic desertification. Severe salinization and waterlogging may lead to complete crop failure. There are now a large number of environmental risk assessment models available with which a particular agricultural land use and management can be assessed from the point of view of likely damage to the environment (Plentinger and Penning de Vries, 1996). The Land Husbandry Branch was formed in 1960 to undertake land use planning. Degradation status of global land in crops, permanent pasture, forest, and woodlands, S.A. Moges, A.S. Gebregiorgis, in Climate Vulnerability, 2013. There are different causes for the different types/forms of land degradation, and causes may differ from one country or state/province to another (depending on factors like agricultural practices, other environmental pollution factors and so on). Stocking, in International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2001. Land degradation is the human-induced loss of biodiversity, productivity, … Scientists recently warned that 24 billion tons of fertile soil was being lost per year, largely due to unsustainable agriculture practices. With the exception of irrigation-induced land degradation, desertification usually starts with the removal of vegetation cover by humans or livestock. As a result, there has been a renewed emphasis on national programs of abatement in numerous Mediterranean countries. Agricultural practices also emit non-CO 2 greenhouse gases from soils and these 15 emissions are exacerbated by climate change (medium confidence). Such changes have resulted in the abandonment of land for traditional agriculture and the increase in demand for water for urban expansion, tourism, and irrigation, resulting in increased land-use conflicts. However, the general lack of understanding and awareness about the root causes of land degradation persists, thus the slow progress in reversing the alarming trends of land degradation and land abandonment. They are highly adapted to climatic variability and water stress, but also extremely vulnerable to damaging human activities such as deforestation, overgrazing and unsustainable agricultural practices, which cause land degradation. However, it was not until 1998 that enough signatories drew their pens to ratify the Convention to Combat Desertification, the major components of which are national and international proposals to combat land degradation. … Soil degradation map of eastern Africa. Owing to the low level of rainfall and the shortness of a favorable growing season, the ecosystem of dry lands feature low biomass and poor resilience; the carrying capacity of the land, which is the number of people and animals the land can normally support, is very small. 1. Table 1. Copyright 10. 4. TOS 7. water quality, air pollution, soil contamination. Agricultural land degradation and its end result of desertification have been receiving considerable attention by the international community in recent decades. 2 billion people and the impact of its effects will only grow with time. That is why, they have been causing land degradation (among other things). Plant-based biosurfactants have excellent emulsification properties, although they are expensive to produce on an industrial scale. The European Union (EU) recently established several major projects, such as Mediterranean Desertification and Land Use (MEDALUS). Image Guidelines 5. However, soil … Land Degradation. However, rapidly changing social and economic conditions—along with the potential for climate change—pose many serious challenges to the Mediterranean region. Globally, the immediate consequence of desertification is the reduction of agricultural productivity and the resulting threat of famine, which has serious social and economic impact. All of these things result in lower crop yields, which in turn lead to hunger, malnutrition, and increased health risks, all of which manifest as declining livelihoods and so return the cycle to a desire for security and wealth. Consequently, biological productivity of the land drops and sand dunes start to form. Land degradation is the major consequences of direct interference of human activities in the natural phenomenon. The model includes sub models for water flow, pesticide movement, nitrogen dynamics and salinity (Wagenet and Hutson, 1989). The water-holding capacity of a degraded soil is only a fraction of a virgin soil. Integrated methods for the restoration of all kind of degraded land i.e. Historically, the failure to recognize and include the interdependencies of these three dimensions has slowed progress by the UNCCD in tackling the enormous problem of dryland degradation, although recent developments are encouraging. agricultural practices. The Mediterranean, although small on a global scale, is a complex mosaic of landscapes, soils, different cultures, localized climates, and land-use histories. (Simulation of Nitrogen Dynamics in Arable Land) (Bradbury et al., 1993). It became more dangerous because it directly or indirectly effects the food security and environment. Overgrazing and excessive fuelwood collection destroy the protective layer of plants, exposing the top layer soil to wind and water erosion. Other alternative sustainable agriculture practices, including zero-budget natural farming, permaculture and direct-seeded rice, also adopt some principles of CA, although not all. Arid and semi-arid areas (or ‘dry lands’) generally receive an annual rainfall less than 600 mm, with high interannual variability. For instance, over a period of time, Ethiopia’s original forest cover was reduced from 65% to a mere 2.2% of the total country’s area coverage (Berry 2003). The causes of land degradation in PICs include: deforestation, inappropriate agricultural practices, overgrazing, mining, population pressure, land tenure issues and changing climate. In most cases, the desert is not expanding continuously on the human time scale, although its boundary may advance and retreat in response to interannual climate variability. Ecological restoration is identified as one of several key activities that can reverse this trend (MEA, 2005a). The dominant cause varies on the land type. S.S. Shinde, P. Modak, in Climate Vulnerability, 2013. The problems are especially severe in Africa, where more than 80% of countries are nitrogen-deficient, and where nutrient loss has been estimated at 9–58 kg ha−1 year−1 in the 28 worst affected countries and 61–88 kg ha−1 year−1 in 21 others (Chianu et al., 2012). Biosurfactants may also contribute to agricultural sustainability by acting as antimicrobial agents for disease control. ... intensive nature of … ... India’s precarious groundwater situation, land degradation and the threat of climate change all together make CA a desirable proposition – at least if we intend to tackle these challenges without comprising our … They cover over 40% of the earth's land surface, and are home to more than two billion people. The need to prevent further land degradation and to restore degraded lands is especially important now because the demand for accessible productive lands is increasing with an increase in human population and consequent increase in food consumption. From: International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2001, M.A. A new integrated assessment paradigm, the DDP, has been proposed as a tool to aid in tackling the complexity of this phenomenon. The main causes of erosion on agricultural land are intensive cultivation, overgrazing, poor management of arable soils and deforestation. In farmers’ fields, this is seen as soil erosion, breakdown of nutrient cycling, and the loss of soil fertility and structure. In this paper, we outline the impacts of restoration on ecosystems and societies and clarify some of the main challenges and approaches to ecological restoration. By continuing you agree to the use of cookies. In this chapter, we specifically discuss the use and application of biosurfactants for sustainable soil management with the view that biosurfactants and bioemulsifiers can potentially play a more prominent role in the future. Salinization and waterlogging lead to the destruction of vegetation cover in irrigated lands. Converting big parts of the land surface to agriculture have severe environmental and health consequences. Desertification occurs when the anthropogenically induced degradation exceeds the ecosystem's restorative capacity. It is due mainly to nonsustainable human activities, such as overcultivation, overgrazing, deforestation, and poor irrigation practices and is often triggered or exacerbated by climate variability, mainly drought. 3), which may eventually provide general tools for linking science and policy in other regions of the world. This led to the more holistic concept of ‘land husbandry,’ including all farm-level production activities, argued as being a more effective tool for delivering conservation than technical, often structural, measures such as earth bunds (contour embankments to intercept runoff and sediment). This type of farming is usually practiced across the hill side and is useful in collecting and diverting the run off to avoid erosion. Such soil salinization increases the osmotic pressure of the root medium, leading to a reduction of the vegetation's ability to tolerate water stress. Its importance for sustainable development and conservation efforts has been rising in recent years (Hobbs et al., 2011; Roberts et al., 2009), which is manifested in the growing role of ecological restoration in regional and global environmental policy and in the provision of ecosystem services (Bullock et al., 2011). ( Morgan et al., 2015 ) turn leads to the reduction or loss soil. 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land degradation from agricultural practices 2021