3.4. 3: Process and Consequences of Soil Degradation

May 18th, 2010

Grazing in the Sahel and Soil degradation

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Soil degradation concerns the decline of soil quality or quantity. Soil degradation results from changes to biological, geological or chemical components of a soil.

These include:
Losses of soil micro-organisms, removal of dead organic matter or reductions in stabilizing plant communities. (Biological)

Changes to physical structure and conditions such as drainage or permeability. (Geological)

Increase, changes or additions leading to acidification, calcification, toxicity, nutrient reduction or increasing salinity. (Chemical)

Soil degradation is effected by:

  1. Climatic conditions (wind and water, drought)
  2. Biological interactions (grazing)
  3. Human impacts (population growth, farming techniques)
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