Individual Work 1 Week 3
Individual Work Week 3
Throughout the world soil is constantly being eroded. There are three major principles that can cause soil to erode, leading to soil degradation. Over-cultivation, overgrazing, and deforestation have huge impacts on the degradation of the soil. There are, however, actions that can be taken to preserve or correct the conservation of soil. To further understand the prevention of degradation, we must fully comprehend the major causes of soil erosion.
One major cause of soil erosion is over-cultivation. This happens when farmlands are plowed for the growing of crops. Soil is loosened and exposed after plowing, leaving the soil to be exposed to wind and water erosion. Although it is necessary for plowing to occur, it accelerates the evaporation of water. If farmers neglect to rotate crops within their farmlands, for example, degradation and erosion negatively affect the regeneration process of the soil, which is the center of over-cultivation. Another major cause of soil degradation is overgrazing of dry-lands or grasslands. Grasslands that are deprived of rain, along with fields that are too steep for farming, are used for the grazing or feeding of livestock. The growing of grass fails to keep up with the consumption of the livestock and causes overgrazing. This leaves soil exposed and unable to absorb enough water for moisture to penetrate the soil and enough water for regrowth of the grass. Deforestation is the third reason behind soil erosion. When a forest is cut down and soil is left exposed, it becomes saturated with water and slides down slopes or hills into waterways. This leaves behind infertile subsoil that erodes at an alarming rate. In rainforests, for example, a thin layer of subsoil is washed away only leaving unfruitful soils that lack the nutrients needed to regrow plant life. Although these three principles of degradation cause severe soil
References: Wright, R. T., & Boorse, D. F. (2014). Environmental science (12th ed.) San Francisco, CA: Pearson Education, Inc. Retrieved from: Chapter 11- Soil: The foundations for land ecosystems, Pages 266-288.