Overgrazing

Overgrazing occurs when plants are exposed to intensive grazing for extended periods of time, or without sufficient recovery periods. It can be caused by either livestock in poorly managed agricultural applications, or by overpopulations of native or non-native wild animals. Overgrazing reduces the usefulness, productivity, and biodiversity of the land and is one cause of desertification and erosion. Overgrazing is also seen as a cause of the spread of invasive species of non-native plants and of weeds. Ecological Impacts Overgrazing typically increases soil erosion. Reduction in soil depth, soil organic matter and soil fertility impair the land's future natural and agricultural productivity. Soil fertility can sometimes be mitigated by applying the appropriate lime and organic fertilizers. However, the loss of soil depth and organic matter takes centuries to correct. Their loss is critical in determining the soil's water-holding capacity and how well pasture plants do during dry weather.

To avoid overgrazing on areas of natural or semi-natural vegetation, you should:
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only graze as many animals as the vegetation will support, taking into account the most sensitive habitats reduce livestock numbers in autumn and winter, when plant growth slows or stops - use away wintering and housing where possible avoid using supplementary feeding to support animals on unproductive land, except when the weather is particularly hard reduce stock numbers if there is frequent bare ground, suppressed heather or grass sward heights under five centimetres for rough grassland, and three centimetres reduce stock numbers in woodlands if animals frequently strip bark and/or destroy young sapling trees maintain boundary fences to control movement of stock shepherd open hill land to distribute grazing pressure evenly and avoid localised overgrazing control the spread of bracken to maintain grass and heather areas

ranches. The outcome of which is the extinction of animals and plants on a massive scale. which is then released into the atmosphere. and heavy browsing of saplings by domestic animals like goats. The effects on animals is very heartbreaking. it washes away the rest of the nutrients. leaving no chance for the groundwater tables to absorb more water. They not only lose their . In addition. water just runs off. cultivation in this land will also become impossible. Examples of deforestation include conversion of forestland to farms. Thus.  felling of trees for firewood and building material. The groundwater tables are affected and soon get depleted. both of which earn money for tropical countries. merely replanting trees may not help in solving the problems caused by deforestation. remains inside the plants. or urban use. making it very dry and eventually. Because of this. for instance. resulting in the land becoming useless. about 50 to 100 species of animals are being lost each day. Large tracts of land will be rendered permanently impoverished due to soil erosion.  development of cash crops and cattle ranching. which flow with the rainwater into waterways. for by the time the trees mature.Deforestation Deforestation is the removal of a forest or stand of trees where the land is thereafter converted to a non-forest use. mahogany and ebony) destroys trees as well as opening up forests for agriculture. when there is rainfall. Ultimately. Due to massive felling of trees. it results in exposing the soil to the sun. infertile. The trees help in prevention of running off of water and help the soil absorb the flowing water. Even though tropical rainforest make up just 6 percent of the surface area of the Earth. the heavy lopping of foliage for fodder. A large part of the water that circulates in the ecosystem of rainforests. about 80-90 percent of the entire species of the world exist here.  commercial logging (which supplies the world market with woods such as meranti. When these trees are cut down it results in the climate getting drier in that area.  Disruption of the Water Cycle Trees contribute in a large way in maintaining the water cycle. teak.  Loss of Biodiversity The unique biodiversity of various geographical areas is being lost on a scale that is quite unprecedented. Causes of Deforestation Deforestation is brought about by the following:  conversion of forests and woodlands to agricultural land to feed growing numbers of people. the soil will be totally devoid of essential nutrients. due to volatile nutrients such as nitrogen being lost. When there are no trees. They draw up water via their roots. Effects of Deforestation  Erosion of Soil When forest areas are cleared. ultimately leading to reduction in water resources.

fats. Thus. When forests are cut down.habitat and protective cover. Solutions to Deforestation  Reforestation Many countries in the world have started reforestation and forestry. which results in releasing the carbon that is stored in them as carbon dioxide. they are pushed to extinction. this regulation of the flow of water is disrupted. have to be managed properly.  Cities All cities. many of the trees are burnt or they are allowed to rot. Sanctuaries go a long way in protecting all wildlife. both plants and animals have vanished from the face of the earth. When deforestation occurs. will not only lead to deforestation being controlled in a major way. Many East Asian countries. but to save trees as well. not only to save wildlife. but its flow may also be reversed. This. which is then used to produce carbohydrates.  Climate Change It is well-known that global warming is being caused largely due to emissions of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. let alone new cities. leading to disruption of human settlements and loss of life in thousands. and new trees are planted where ever possible. However. what is not known quite as well is that deforestation has a direction association with carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere. leads to greater concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. in turn.  Flooding and Drought One of the vital functions of forests is to absorb and store great amounts of water quickly when there are heavy rains. have successfully managed to reverse deforestation. Many beautiful creatures.  Legislation By making suitable changes in the law. . since they absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.  Wildlife Sanctuaries Sanctuaries are very important. Trees act as a major storage depot for carbon. in my opinion. Their expansion has to be curtailed or at least done in a systematic manner. including China. which leads to alternating periods of flood and then drought in the affected area. and East Asian nations are leading in this regard. so that there is enough green cover. so that cutting trees in a forest area becomes a major crime. and proteins that make up trees.

 Incentive to Corporates Tax cuts should be granted to corporations.  Water Management Improper water management affects deforestation in a big way. This way the wood can be cut in a controlled and regulated environment.  Commercial Forest Plantations There can be special forest plantations for all the wood that is needed for the industry. If the wildlife doesn't have water. then the entire ecosystem will falter. so that any one area isn't deprived of water. . while another area has abundance of it. to get them actively interested in reforestation. The construction of new dams should be planned properly.

 Destruction of vegetation in arid regions. Drought and poor land management contribute to famine. typically losing its bodies of water as well as vegetation and wildlife. when overgrazing occurs. drought or improper/inappropriate agriculture Causes of Desertification  Overgrazing is the major cause of desertification worldwide. Desertification is also the process of fertile land transforming into desert typically as a result of deforestation. often for fuelwood. If the population is growing. and pollution. poor water quality. All of these effects can hurt people living near an affected region . Salt can build up in the soil which makes it harder for plant growth.  Food Loss The soil is not suited for growing food.e lands on which there is a high risk of crop failure and a very low economic return. Desertification is a significant global ecological and environmental problem. Such regular stock movement prevented overgrazing of the fragile plant cover. (the build up of salts in the soil) which can prevent plant growth. plant species may be lost. i. grazing mammals which move in response to the patchy rainfall common to these regions.  Incorrect irrigation practices in arid areas can cause salinization.Desertification Desertification is a type of land degradation in which a relatively dry land region becomes increasingly arid. dust storms. Also.  Cultivation of marginal lands. Nutrients in the soil can be removed by wind or water.  People near Affected Areas Desertification can cause flooding. It is caused by a variety of factors. Early human pastoralists living in semi-arid areas copied this natural system. this will cause economic problems and starvation. They moved their small groups of domestic animals in response to food and water availability. therefore the amount of food being made will decline. Plants of semi-arid areas are adapted to being eaten by sparsely scattered.  Vegetation is Lacked or Damaged Loosened soil may bury plants or leave their roots exposed. large.  Causes Famine Places that have war and poverty are most likely to have famine occur. such as climate change and human activities. The Effects of Desertification  Soil becomes less usable The soil can be blown away by wind or washed away rain.

which involve the establishment of lines of fast-growing trees planted at right angles to the prevailing surface winds.Solution to Desertification  Tree planting o Wind breaks. They are primarily used to slow wind-driven soil erosion but may be used to inhibit the encroachment of sand dunes o Prevent erosion. trap airborne dirt  No till/low till farming o Less soil disturbance  Alternative energy (to relieve fuelwood fuelwood pressure) o Solar cookers for food o Wind turbines yield energy and wind breaks  Livestock management o Non-trampling o Feed cut forage in an enclosure .