Deforestation is one of the main human causes of desertification. When people are looking to move into an area, or they need trees in order to make houses and do other tasks, then they are contributing to the problems related to desertification. Without the plants around, the rest of the biome cannot thrive. Forests are being cut down at much larger scale than ever before, to be used as fuel, to provide products we use in our daily life.
The effects of desertification
Soil becomes less usable
Topsoil is crucial for plant growth because it contains most of the organic matter and 50 percent of important nutrients such as phosphorus and potassium. The soil can be blown away by wind or washed away rain. Nutrients in the soil can be removed by wind or water. Salt can build up in the soil which makes it harder for plant growth.
The food will become much scarcer without farms in these areas, and the people who live in those local areas will be a lot more likely to try and deal with hunger problems. Animals will also go hungry, which will cause even more of a food shortage.
Desertification is a serious form of land degradation that results in the destruction of natural ecosystems. Places that have war and poverty are most likely to have famine occur. Drought and poor land management contribute to famine.
Desertification can cause flooding, without the plant life in an area, flooding is a lot more eminent. Not all deserts are dry; those that are wet could experience a lot of flooding because there is nothing to stop the water from gathering and going all over the place.
Solutions for desertification
It’s difficult to try and prevent desertification from happening. Alternative livelihoods that are less demanding on local land and natural resource use, such as dryland aquaculture for production of fish, crustaceans and industrial compounds, limit desertification.
Land and water management
Like farming, water management is so important. Sustainable land use can fix issues such as overgrazing, overexploitation of plants, trampling of soils and irrigation practices that cause and worsen desertification.
Education is a very important tool that needs to be utilized in order to help people to understand the best way to use the land that they are farming on. By educating them on sustainable practices, more land will be saved from becoming desert.
There are plenty of sustainable practices that can be applied to those acts that may be causing desertification. By adding these to what we should be doing with land, we can ensure that we don’t turn the entire world into a desert.