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.
Important Notes in NCERT Class 8 Chapter 5
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, and low-lying areas susceptible to water are uninhabited areas whereas plains and rivers are densely populated areas.
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The land is 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.
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.
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
- Role of organic material
- Time is taken for the composition of soil formation
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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:
- Mulching – To retain the soil moisture the bare ground between plants is covered with a layer of organic matter like straw.
- Contour Barriers – To collect water trenches are made up of Stones, grass, the soil is used to build barriers along the contour.
- Rock Dam – To prevent soil loss and gullies, rocks are piled up together which will help to slow down the flow of water.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Shelter Belts – To protect the cover of soil rows of trees are planted in coastal and dry regions.
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.
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.
- 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.
- To minimize losses by water seepage, Canals used for irrigation should be lined properly.
- Forest and other vegetation will help to slow down the surface runoff and replenish underground water.
- Drip or trickle irrigation should be adopted in dry regions.
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.
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.
- Bio reserves, sanctuaries, national parks are created to protect the wildlife and natural vegetation.
- It is necessary to conserve creeks, lakes, and wetlands to protect natural resources from vanishing.
- Vanamohatasava is an awareness program launched to protect natural resources and wildlife. Programs like these should be encouraged more.
- Students should be taught about the importance of the habitat of varied species through visits and camps.
- 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
- Trade is prohibited for certain species by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
Important Questions and Answers in NCERT Class 8 Chapter 5 Land Soil Water Natural Vegetation and Wildlife Resources
1. Answer the following questions.
(i) Which are the two main climatic factors responsible for soil formation?
Ans: Two main climatic factors responsible for soil formation are temperature and rainfall, in which rainfall influences the rate of weathering and humus formation.
(ii) Write any two reasons for land degradation today.
Ans: The overuse of chemical fertilizers and deforestation are the two main reasons for land degradation. The growing population and their ever-growing demand have led to large-scale destruction of forest cover and arable land and have created a fear of losing this natural resource.
(iii) Why is land considered an important resource?
Ans: Land is considered an important resource because it can be put to use for various purposes like agriculture, forestry, mining, building houses, roads and setting up industries.
(iv) Name any two steps that the government has taken to conserve plants and animals.
Ans: Two major steps taken by the government to protect and conserve plants, animals and natural vegetation are as follows:
- National parks, wildlife sanctuaries, and biosphere reserves are made to protect our natural vegetation and wildlife.
- Awareness programmes like social forestry and tree plantation- ‘Vanamahotsava’ are organised to conserve forests, which are valuable natural resources.
(v) Suggest three ways to conserve water.
Ans: Three main ways to conserve water are:
a. Increasing forest cover and other vegetation to slow the surface runoff
b. Replenishing underground water through rainwater harvesting
c. Reducing the loss of water in irrigation and shifting to less water-intensive methods of agriculture
2. Tick the correct answer.
(i) Which one of the following is NOT a factor of soil formation?
(b) Soil texture
(c) Organic matter
Ans: b. Soil Texture
(ii) Which one of the following methods is most appropriate to check soil erosion on steep slopes?
(c) Terrace cultivation
Ans: c) Terrace cultivation
(iii) Which one of the following is NOT in favour of the conservation of nature?
(a) switch off the bulb when not in use
(b) close the tap immediately after using
(c) dispose of poly packs after shopping
Ans: c) Dispose of poly packs after shopping
3. Match the following.
|Column A||Column B|
|Land use||prevent soil erosion|
|Humus||narrow zone of contact between the lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere|
|Rock Dams||productive use of land|
|Biosphere||organic matter deposited on top soil|
|Column A||Column B|
|Land use||productive use of land|
|Humus||organic matter deposited on topsoil|
|Rock Dams||prevent soil erosion|
|Biosphere||narrow zone of contact between the lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere|
4: State whether the given statement is true or false. If true, give the reasons.
(i). Ganga–Brahmaputra plain of India is an overpopulated region.
True: River valleys and plains offer suitable land for agriculture. Hence, they are densely populated.
(ii) Water availability per person in India is declining.
True: Increasing population, increasing urbanization, the rising standards of living and the rising demands for food and cash crops are leading to shortages in the supply of fresh water. The shortages are either due to the drying up of water sources or water pollution.
(iii) Rows of trees planted in the coastal areas to check the wind movement are called intercropping.
False: Rows of trees are planted to check the wind movement and protect soil cover. These are called shelterbelts.
(iv). Human interference and changes in climate can maintain the ecosystem.
False: Climate change and human interference can cause the loss of natural habitats, and hence destroy the ecosystem.
Check out Class 8 Geography Notes:
|Chapter 1: Resources|
|Chapter 2: Land, Soil, Water, Natural Vegetation and Wildlife Resources|
|Chapter 3: Agriculture|
|Chapter 4: Industries|
|Chapter 5: Human Resources|
Soil texture is a factor in soil formation.
Terrace Cultivation is most appropriate to check soil erosion on steep slopes.
Dispose of poly packs after shopping is not in favour of the conservation of nature.
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