Class 8 Social Science Land, Soil, Water, Natural Vegetation, & Wild Life Resources
LAND SOIL WATER NATURAL VEGETATION & WILDLIFE RESOURCES
Land is an important component of natural resources. It is not evenly distributed all around the world. Differences are fuuudiu in its use and levels of development, all around the world, depending upon the factors like-relief, climate’and population distribution, etc. Their misuse can endanger survival of humanity.
Factors Affecting Land Use
1. Physical Features : Relief features like mountains, plateaus, river, slope of the land etc., influence forest cover, human habitation and hence put a limit on land use.
2. Types of Rocks : Types of rocks like sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic rocks, affect availability
of minerals and soils, etc., in an area. Soils are also made from weathering or breakdown of rocks. Therefore, rocks influence the type and degree of land use.
3. Slope : Humans have,generally preferred gentle slopes for habitation as well as agriculture. Steep slopes are not favourable for agriculture or construction of houses as such. Further, on steep slopes soil erosion occurs rapidly.
4. Climate : Climate is an important factor determining land use. It affects crop growth, habitation by animals and humans. Cold areas of Tundra region, or extremely hot and and climates of deserts are unsuitable for human habitation.
5. Human Needs : Human needs like construction of roads, railways, ,communication lines, land cultivation,
overcoming climate barriers, economic well-being and technology also determine land use. People inhabit
in less numbers in the snow bourrcvarea! of Siberia,’or deep inside the deserts, like Sahara.
6. Private vs. Community : Land can also be divided on the basis of Private land an ommunity land. Private land is owned by individuals whereas, community land is owned by the community. Tor common uses like collection of fodder, fruits, nuts, etc. It is also called common group resource.
Land degradation takes place due to the following reasons:
1. Change in Landforms: Man has the ability to ground high hills or fill up deep depressions. Dams across rivers, mining and construction of houses, bridges and roads affect landforms directly.
2. Overgrazing : Overgrazing by domestic animals on a large scale has degraded the land, by removing
the vegetation. Overgrazing is the main cause of land degradation in states of Gujarat, Rajasthan,
Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra. Overgrazing is the major cause of land degradation.
3. Degradation by Mining and Quarrying: More than 5,500 mines and quarries are operating in India.
The dumping of mineral wastes and abandoned mines are degrading and defacing the land.
4. Degradation by industrial vaste : Indiscriminate discharge of effluents has led to land degradation
and making the land unfit for cultivation.
5. Degradation by Industrial Dust: Fly ash from thermal power plants and dust generated by cement
1and ceramic industries have also led to land degradation.
How Can We Conserve Degraded Land
The following steps can go a long way in the conservation