Land, Soil, Water, Natural Vegetation and Wildlife Resources

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Land, Soil, Water, Natural Vegetation and Wildlife Resources

Why is the water in abundance in some regions while some regions on earth face water scarcity? Why is there water scarcity even when more than 70% of the earth is covered with water? To find the answer to this and more details on land, soil, water, natural vegetation, and wildlife resources, here is a blog that will explore everything about types of natural resources, ways to conserve the environment, conservation of plants and animals, and the rich heritage of flora and fauna.

Land 

Lands cover about 30% of the earth’s surface and there are still some parts that are inhabitable. Rugged topography, steep slopes of the mountains, low-lying areas susceptible to water are uninhabited areas whereas plains and rivers are densely populated areas.

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Land Use

The land not just used for building houses but has various other useful factors as well. The land is used for mining, agriculture, forestry, roads, setting up factories, and so on. Human factors like population and technology determine the use of land. Physical factors like topography, soil, climate, minerals, and availability of water also determine the use of land. The land is further classified into – private land and community land. Private Land is used by an individual whereas community land or common community resources is used for the collection of fodder, fruits, nuts, or medicinal herbs. The growing demands of humankind for the use of land have led to land degradation, landslides, soil erosion, desertification that are major threats to the environment. 

Conservation of Land Resources

The overpopulation and the growing demand for land have led to the destruction of natural resources. Steps towards conserving land resources are afforestation, land reclamation, regulated use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers.

Credits : Mother’s Nest

Soil

Substance covering the surface of the earth is soil. It is a thin layer of grainy substance made up of organic matter, minerals, weathered rocks and associated with the land. Soil is formed by the process of weathering that makes the soil fertile.

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Factors of Soil Formation

The formation of soil is not the same around the world, it differs from place to place. Here are the factors that affect soil formation are 

  • The nature of the parent rock
  • Climatic factors
  • Topography
  • Role of organic material
  • Time is taken for the composition of soil formation
Credits: Meritnation

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Degradation of Soil and Conservation

Soil is a natural resource and some major threats are Soil erosion and Depletion. Deforestation, overgrazing, overuse of chemical fertilizers or pesticides, rain wash, landslides, and floods are some of the common factors of soil degradation. Here are steps to conserve the soil:

  1. Mulching – To retain the soil moisture the bare ground between plants is covered with a layer of organic matter like straw.
  2. Contour Barriers – To collect water trenches are made up of Stones, grass, the soil is used to build barriers along the contour.
  3. Rock Dam – To prevent soil loss and gullies, rocks are piled up together which will help to slow down the flow of water.
  4. Terrace Farming – In order to reduce surface runoff and soil erosion broad flat steps are built on the steep slopes. This helps in growing crops on the flat surface that is available.
  5. Intercropping – When different crops are grown in different rows of the same fields which helps in protecting the soil from rain wash is called intercropping.
  6. Contour Ploughing – To build a natural barrier for water to flow down the slope, parallel to the contours of a hill slope plowing is done.
  7. Shelter Belts – To protect the cover of soil rows of trees are planted in coastal and dry regions.
Credits : Peekaboo Kids

Water

Earth’s 3/4th surface is covered with water, a renewable natural resource that supports a rich variety of plant and animal life. Only 2.7% is fit for human consumption but out of this 70% of water occurs as ice sheets and glaciers in Antarctica, Greenland, and mountain regions and only 1% is left for human consumption. The 1% water fit for human consumption is available as groundwater, as surface water in rivers and lakes, and as water vapor in the atmosphere. Water is the only thing that can not be added or subtracted and the volume of water will always remain constant. The use of water is not just restricted to drinking but used in production as well. Human uses water for agriculture, industries, generating electricity through reservoirs of dams. 

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Problems of Water Availability

There are regions around the globe that are facing water shortages due to over-exploitation and contamination of water sources. Countries in climatic zones are more suspected of drought and face more water scarcity issues. Africa, West Asia, South Asia, parts of western USA, north-west Mexico, parts of South America, and entire Australia are the worst-hit countries.

Credits: Economic Times

Conservation of Water Resources

There is no life possible without water on earth. Access to clean water is one of the major concerns in the current situation and it has become important to take steps towards saving water resources. 

  1. The waste material released by the industries in the water bodies is one of the major reasons for water pollution. The waste material first should be treated before release.
  2. To minimize losses by water seepage, Canals used for irrigation should be lined properly.
  3. Forest and other vegetation will help to slow down the surface runoff and replenish underground water.
  4. Drip or trickle irrigation should be adopted in dry regions.
Credits – Knowledge Platform

Natural Vegetation and Wildlife

Natural vegetation and wildlife exist in the Biosphere. The biosphere is a narrow zone of contact between the lithosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere in which the living beings are dependent on each other for survival and inter-related, and this system of life-supporting is called Ecosystem. Natural vegetation and wildlife are equally essential and valuable resources. Natural vegetation provides us timber, give shelter to animals, produce the oxygen we breathe, protects soils for growing crops, act as shelterbelts, help in the storage of underground water, give us fruits, nuts, latex, turpentine oil, gum, medicinal plants whereas wildlife provides us milk, meat, hides and wool from animals. From insects like bees, humans are also able to consume honey and also help in pollination. Birds are also nature’s decomposers and cleansers of the environment. 

Credits – Geographical Mind

Distribution of Natural Vegetation

Vegetation can broadly be classified as forests, grasslands, scrubs, and tundra and the growth of vegetation vividly depend on temperature and moisture. The areas that receive heavy rainfall will thrive with huge trees and as the moisture decreases the density and size of trees also reduces. Short trees and grasses grow in moderate rainfall and thorny shrubs and scrubs grow in low rainfall areas. Forest is the source of natural vegetation which is in danger due to the increasing population. To grow more crops for the increasing population more forests are vanishing rapidly. It has become essential to save the forests.

Conservation of Natural Vegetation and Wildlife

To maintain the balance natural vegetation and wildlife are essential. Human interference has affected and created a loss of natural habitat for animals and plants. Many species have also become extinct and endangered.  Deforestation, soil erosion, construction activities, forest fires, tsunami, and landslides are some of the reasons affecting the natural resources whereas the major concern is poaching. Poaching has resulted in a decline in the number of species. Here are the steps are taken to conserve natural vegetation and wildlife.

  1. Bio reserves, sanctuaries, national parks are created to protect the wildlife and natural vegetation.
  2. It is necessary to conserve creeks, lakes, and wetlands to protect natural resources from vanishing.
  3. Vanamohatasava is an awareness program launched to protect natural resources and wildlife. Programs like these should be encouraged more.
  4. Students should be taught about the importance of the habitat of varied species through visits and camps.
  5. Just like in other countries, the killing of animals is banned in India. Some of the animals that are included are lions, tigers, deers, great Indian bustards, and peacocks
  6. Trade is prohibited for certain species by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
Credits: Bluedigital India
Land Soil Water Natural Vegetation And Wildlife Resources NCERT PDF

Questions Based on Class 8 Land Soil Water Natural Vegetation and Wildlife Resources

Now that you are through with the class 8 Land Soil Water Natural Vegetation and Wildlife Resources notes, test your knowledge with these questions: 

Tick the correct answer

Which one of the following is NOT a factor of soil formation?
1. Time
2. Soil texture
3. Organic matter

Soil texture

Which one of the following methods is most appropriate to check soil erosion on steep slopes?

1. Shelterbelts 
2. Mulching
3. Terrace cultivation 
Answer – Terrace Cultivation

Which one of the following is NOT in favor of the conservation of nature?
1. Switch off the bulb when not in use
2. Close the tap immediately after using
3. Dispose of poly packs after shopping

Dispose of poly packs after shopping

Match the following

Land use  prevent soil erosion 
Humus A narrow zone of contact between the lithosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere 
Rock dams productive use of land 
Biosphere organic matter deposited on topsoil 

Answers-

Land use  productive use of land 
Humus organic matter deposited on topsoil 
Rock Dams prevent soil erosion 
Biosphere A narrow zone of contact between the lithosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere

This was all about the revision notes on Chapter 2 of Geography from Land Soil Water Natural Vegetation and Wildlife Resources Class 8. We hope you find this useful. For more notes and content, subscribe to Leverage Edu!

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