Overgrazing, Overcultivation, and Deforestation Essay

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Overgrazing, Overcultivation, and Deforestation Virginia Fornal Environmental Science November 16, 2013 Overgrazing, Overcultivation, and Deforestation 1 Some land receives too little rainfall to support the cultivating of crops, so the land is used for grazing. Many times the land is overgrazed which causes a multitude of problems. In the 1800’s in the US, cattle overgrazed the land which led to erosion, which led to the over population of desert plants such as sagebrush, mesquite and other plants that the livestock wouldn’t eat. The livestock moved further to find suitable food and the problems resulting from over grazing followed them. The result was dry desert land. This problem is not unique to the US. Grazing by domestic animals around the world is among the major causes of deforestation and agricultural clearances, with goats being the main culprit in many areas. Grazing has many effects on the ecosystem. It affects plant growth, health and reproduction, and results in bare soil. The only solutions to the problems resulting from overgrazing can be conservation and restoration of the land. Overcultivation is also a destructive to the soil. Most crops begin by plowing the land to control weeds and loosen the soil to aerate. Too often, the opposite is the effect. Plowing quickens the evaporation process and therefore dries out the soil. Low till or no-till farming could be a solution to this. Less fertilizer also can be used along with crop rotation to keep the soil healthy. Forests are extremely important to the Earth’s ecosystems. Deforestation is clearing Earth's forests on an unprecedented scale. Forests are still covering 30% of the Earth’s land, but areas the size of Panama are lost each and every year. If deforestation continues at the present rate the world’s rain forests could completely disappear in the next

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