It became more dangerous because it directly or indirectly effects the food security and environment. Stocking, in International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, 2001. Causes include: Another destructive agricultural practice is the ‘slashing and burning’ of natural perennial vegetation, including trees and shrubs, to clear land for annual agriculture. In this highly interactive cycle, a desire for security and wealth drives deforestation, overgrazing, and unsustainable use of soils and water, all of which cause agroecosystem degradation. We use cookies to help provide and enhance our service and tailor content and ads. Content Filtrations 6. Land degradation therefore increases the vulnerability of marginal environments and societies. CAUSES OF LAND DEGRADATION 1. ... intensive nature of … Biosurfactants play a physiological role in increasing the solubility and bioavailability of hydrophobic compounds and are involved in promoting the swarming motility of microorganism and in cellular physiological processes of signaling and differentiation (Kearns and Losick, 2003). Land degradation has many negative impacts on agriculture and environment. Land degradation here mainly refers to the loss of life-supporting land resource through soil erosion, desertification, salinization, acidification, etc. Degradation status of global land in crops, permanent pasture, forest, and woodlands, S.A. Moges, A.S. Gebregiorgis, in Climate Vulnerability, 2013. Changes in the characteristic of soil. 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. Plant-based biosurfactants have excellent emulsification properties, although they are expensive to produce on an industrial scale. water quality, air pollution, soil contamination. The desert has been unjustly thought of by some as the cause of desertification because semi-arid areas surround desert. Biosurfactants are amphiphilic molecules which are mainly derived from plants and microorganisms. Following are some practises for controlling land degradation: 1. Desertification is not directly related to desert. Climatic conditions are one of the most important determining factors affecting agriculture, especially in the Mediterranean areas, with irregular rainfall and high summer temperatures. In an attempt to make the concept more meaningful, Leakey (2010) added some steps to a conceptual diagram of the land degradation and social deprivation cycle. Degradation of soil as a result of Erosion 2. G. Wang, G.S. Unsustainable agricultural practices include: 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. TOS 7. While the World Commission on Environment and Development (Brundtland 1987) highlighted sustainable development, land degradation was only then seen as a shadowy adversary in achieving long-term productive agriculture. 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 … Land degradation and loss of biodiversity have put the world’s ecosystems under intense pressure, and their capacity to provide vital services is declining while at the same time the demand for these services is growing (Butchart et al., 2010; MEA, 2005a). Desertification, on the other hand, generally occurs after a prolonged degradation of land. The degradation comes from several sources but it is mainly from extensive agriculture. Severe salinization and waterlogging may lead to complete crop failure. Permaculture is a design system that applies principles that are found in nature to … 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]. Yet, there is no doubt that the sustained research and institutional effort in the US, spurred originally by the Dust Bowl era, has not only raised awareness of land degradation but also done much to conserve that nation's soils today. Biosurfactants significantly affect the bioavailability and biodegradation kinetics of hydrophobic compounds (Ahmad et al., 2015). 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. 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. Overgrazing and excessive fuelwood collection destroy the protective layer of plants, exposing the top layer soil to wind and water erosion. With the exception of irrigation-induced land degradation, desertification usually starts with the removal of vegetation cover by humans or livestock. It reduces the land's potential for biological productivity, and causes conversion of productive lands used for pasture and agriculture into desert-like conditions. The model includes sub models for water flow, pesticide movement, nitrogen dynamics and salinity (Wagenet and Hutson, 1989). According to the recently Land degradation in many Pacific Island Countries (PICs) has become an emerging concern in recent years. Privacy Policy 8. Land degradation may be caused by i.e. As annual agriculture expands, the land loses the protection of vegetation, especially during the dry season, and suffers from severe wind erosion. Arid and semi-arid areas (or ‘dry lands’) generally receive an annual rainfall less than 600 mm, with high interannual variability. Humans have cut, grazed, and burned these lands for thousands of years, leaving virtually no natural vegetation and resulting in extensive soil erosion. Soil degradation map of eastern Africa. However, soil … Content Guidelines 2. Yet, it is an old problem (e.g., Jacks and Whyte 1939), that has undergone a series of often-emotive revivals every decade since the Dust Bowl era in the mid-West USA (e.g., Osborn 1948, Carson 1962, Commoner 1972; Blaikie and Brookfield 1986). 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). 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. The Mediterranean, although small on a global scale, is a complex mosaic of landscapes, soils, different cultures, localized climates, and land-use histories. Without the protection of plants, the loose well-plowed soil easily develops into sand dunes under the strong wind impact. This type of farming is usually practiced across the hill side and is useful in collecting and diverting the run off to avoid erosion. 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. 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. 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. 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. Ecological restoration is identified as one of several key activities that can reverse this trend (MEA, 2005a). Moreover, plant-based surfactants have other issues such as solubility and hydrophobicity (Xu et al., 2011). Disclaimer 9. This causes the buildup of chemicals harmful to plant growth. water erosion, deforestation, soil compaction, desertification, salinization, waterlogging and many more. Soil degradation is a serious global environmental problem and may be exacerbated by climate change. Land degradation is the human-induced loss of biodiversity, productivity, … Deforestation accounts for the major land degradation problem as it results in severe soil erosion, flood, and loss of fertile soil. These factors make dry lands subject to anthropogenic desertification. Table 1. Hailey's (1938) African Survey called it the ‘scourge of Africa,’ providing the reader with images of sediment-choked rivers and barren hillsides. The DDP, which is based on the simultaneous roles and complex feedbacks among the meteorological, ecological, and human dimensions of this problem, provides a roadmap (not a recipe) for thinking about drylands management issues. In terms of the affected land area, Asia suffers the most, with more than 1.3 billion hectares of dry lands degraded. Agricultural land degradation and its end result of desertification have been receiving considerable attention by the international community in recent decades. Roger R.B. 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. Continuous tillage of the soil definitely lead to land degradation and leaching which in turn leads to loss of soil nutrients. Various remediation technologies are being used for restoration of natural resources but most of them have additional impacts and are not ecologically safe. Desertification refers to land degradation in arid, semi-arid, and dry semi-humid areas resulting from various human impacts. FAO implements a range of SLM-related programmes and approaches, such as farmer field schools; conservation agriculture; catchment- and far… P. Bullock, in Developments in Crop Science, 1997, Although problems of land degradation associated with some agricultural systems have been long acknowledged, a much wider group of environmental problems are now recognised e.g. In addition, compacted soil allows less water to infiltrate, limiting the water resources for plant uptake. 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). Acidification, compaction and salinization are some other causes of agricultural land degradation. Eastern Africa including Ethiopia has experienced moderate to severe land degradation problems as shown in Figure 10. Land degradation has been advanced as ‘the single most pressing current global problem’ (O'Riordan 2000). The major causes of desertification include overgrazing, overcultivation of marginal land, unsustainable ‘slash-and-burn’ agricultural practice, logging for fuelwood, and poor irrigation techniques. 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. Current estimates are that land degradation affects 2 billion hectares (38% of world cropping area) (Eswaran et al., 2006), with soil erosion affecting 83% of the global degraded area (Bai et al., 2008). 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. This small amount of rainfall is concentrated within a short period known as the wet season, ranging from several weeks in arid areas to several months in semi-arid areas; dry conditions similar to desert climate persist during the rest of the year. The annual rate of growth in food production and yield peaked during the early years of the Green Revolution, but it has declined since the 1980s (GoI 2004 83 pp.). Land shortage and poverty, taken together, lead to non-sustainable land management practices, meaning the direct causes of 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). Permaculture. When land is degraded, soil carbon and nitrous oxide is released into the atmosphere, making land degradation one of the most important contributors to climate change. Soil degradation is the decline in soil quality caused by its improper use, usually for agricultural, pastoral, industrial or urban purposes. Asa L. Aradottir, Dagmar Hagen, in Advances in Agronomy, 2013. 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. A somewhat different institutional base was set in Malawi in response to perceived land degradation. Land degradation caused by agriculture takes many forms and has many causes. Converting big parts of the land surface to agriculture have severe environmental and health consequences. Normally they increase the bioavailability of hydrophobic compounds by reducing their water repellence (Paradelo et al., 2009). agricultural practices. 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). 45% out of the Total Geographical Area (TGA) of 328 mha, followed by 175 mha by the Ministry of Agriculture (Soil and Water Conservation Division). James F. Reynolds, in Encyclopedia of Biodiversity, 2001. 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). 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. 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