Soil retrogression and degradation

soil degradationdegradationdegradation of soilssoilsoil exhaustiondegradeddegraded soilssoil lossdamage to soildegradation of the soil
Soil retrogression and degradation are two regressive evolution processes associated with the loss of equilibrium of a stable soil.wikipedia
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Soil erosion

erosionErodedsoil erosion by water
Retrogression is primarily due to soil erosion and corresponds to a phenomenon where succession reverts the land to its natural physical state.
Soil erosion is the displacement of the upper layer of soil, one form of soil degradation.

Soil

dirtsoilssoil moisture
Soil retrogression and degradation are two regressive evolution processes associated with the loss of equilibrium of a stable soil.
In tropical soils, when the soil has been deprived of vegetation (e.g. by deforestation) and thereby is submitted to intense evaporation, the upward capillary movement of water, which has dissolved iron and aluminum salts, is responsible for the formation of a superficial hard pan of laterite or bauxite, respectively, which is improper for cutivation, a known case of irreversible soil degradation (lateritization, bauxitization).

Soil health

healthyhealthy soilshealthy soil
Soil retrogression and degradation are two regressive evolution processes associated with the loss of equilibrium of a stable soil.
Not diseased or infirmed (i.e. not degraded, nor degrading), nor causing negative off-site impacts;

Soil fertility

fertilefertilityfertile soil
Soils naturally reach a state of high productivity, from which they naturally degrade as mineral nutrients are removed from the soil system.
This is because soil erosion and other forms of soil degradation generally result in a decline in quality with respect to one or more of the aspects indicated above.

Deforestation

deforestedland clearingforest clearing
Lastly, deforestation, in particular, is responsible for degradation of forest soils.
Since the tropical rainforests are the most diverse ecosystems on Earth and about 80% of the world's known biodiversity could be found in tropical rainforests, removal or destruction of significant areas of forest cover has resulted in a degraded environment with reduced biodiversity.

Agriculture

farmingagriculturalagriculturist
Agriculture also accelerates soil erosion (increase of field size, correlated to hedges and ditches removal).
Soil degradation and diseases such as stem rust are major concerns globally; approximately 40% of the world's agricultural land is seriously degraded.

Ecosystem

ecosystemsenvironmenteco-system
Each successive stage is characterized by a certain association of soil/vegetation and environment, which defines an ecosystem.
For terrestrial ecosystems further threats include air pollution, soil degradation, and deforestation.

Land development

developmentland developerdeveloper
Land-use conversion
General soil degradation

Climate

climaticclimate systemclimates
Degradation is an evolution, different from natural evolution, related to the local climate and vegetation.

Vegetation

vegetativevegetatedvegetative cover
Degradation is an evolution, different from natural evolution, related to the local climate and vegetation.

Plant community

plant communitiescommunitiesplant association
It is due to the replacement of primary plant communities (known as climax vegetation) by the secondary communities.

Humus

humichumificationhumified
This replacement modifies the humus composition and amount, and affects the formation of the soil.

Pedogenesis

soil formationpedogenicfive factors for soil formation
This replacement modifies the humus composition and amount, and affects the formation of the soil.

Disturbance (ecology)

disturbancedisturbancesdisturbed
Soil degradation may also be viewed as any change or ecological disturbance to the soil perceived to be deleterious or undesirable.

Deleterious

Soil degradation may also be viewed as any change or ecological disturbance to the soil perceived to be deleterious or undesirable.

Pioneer species

pioneer plantpioneerpioneering species
At the beginning of soil formation, the bare rock out crops is gradually colonized by pioneer species (lichens and mosses).

Lichen

lichensphotobiontexciple
At the beginning of soil formation, the bare rock out crops is gradually colonized by pioneer species (lichens and mosses).

Moss

mossesBryophytafirst terrestrial plants
At the beginning of soil formation, the bare rock out crops is gradually colonized by pioneer species (lichens and mosses).

Herbaceous plant

herbherbaceousherbs
They are succeeded by herbaceous vegetation, shrubs and finally forest.

Forest

forestsconiferous forestsforested
They are succeeded by herbaceous vegetation, shrubs and finally forest.

Steady state

steady-stateequilibriumsteady
After a certain time of parallel evolution between the ground and the vegetation, a state of steady balance is reached.

Climax community

climaxclimax vegetationclimax forest
It is due to the replacement of primary plant communities (known as climax vegetation) by the secondary communities. This stage of development is called climax by some ecologists and "natural potential" by others.

List of ecologists

ecologistsOther ecologists
This stage of development is called climax by some ecologists and "natural potential" by others.

Dwarf forest

elfin forestpygmy forestelfin
The same soil may achieve several successive steady state conditions during its existence, as exhibited by the Pygmy forest sequence in Mendocino County, California.

Mineral (nutrient)

mineralsdietary mineralsdietary mineral
Soils naturally reach a state of high productivity, from which they naturally degrade as mineral nutrients are removed from the soil system.