Basics of Soil Resources 2: Erosion, Desertification, Salinization & Soil Acidification

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This course focuses on the topics of erosion, desertification, salinization and soil acidification. These are issues that affect all life on earth. 70% of earth’s land capable of supporting agriculture has suffered erosion and soil degradation. This has a direct impact on the chemical cycles of life, the atmosphere, water and food supplies of the entire planet.

The rise and fall of civilizations through history has been based on the condition of the soil. From the fertile crescent to the Egyptian Empire and the Han Empire of China, it is the soil that built the empire, and land degradation that led to the deterioration and eventual collapse of these civilizations.

Soil and land resources are generated, developed and renewed within a geologic time frame, in processes that take hundreds of thousands or even millions of years. The span of human history is measured in some thousands of years. For this reason, land resources must be regarded as essentially non-renewable. It is therefore exceptionally important to adopt a proactive approach to conservation and sustainable management of these critical resources.
Distance Learning
Course Equivalency
Horticulture / Plants
Health, Safety and Welfare
Learning Outcomes
At the conclusion of this course, you will be able to:
•Discuss the forms, processes and characteristics of erosion
•Explain the impact of soil degradation on biodiversity
•Define the vocabulary of erosion
•Describe the process of desertification
•Analyze the consequences of desertification and soil acidification
•Indentify the problems involved in salinization of soils
Donna Rona
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