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Range land management and ecology / soil micro biology and ecology - Essay Example

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For better management of any piece of land, one has to know what land resilience is and whether the land to be managed has been resilient in the past. As presented by walker and Salt, resilience of an ecosystem or land is its ability to put up with disturbance without breaking…
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Range land management and ecology / soil micro biology and ecology
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Range Land Management For better management of any piece of land, one has to know what land resilience is and whether the land to be managed has been resilient in the past. As presented by walker and Salt, resilience of an ecosystem or land is its ability to put up with disturbance without breaking up into a qualitatively unusual state. This process is controlled by a number of processes such as land use, human values and policies, climate and stored nutrients. Resilience is diminished by a number of varying factors which include: toxic pollution, loss of biodiversity and vicious subsidies that promote shaky use of resources. Management of land therefore entails incorporating methods that can rehabilitate land and enhance its resilience. Semi arid grassland such as the one in Eastern Colorado is an exemplified case that requires management. Such land and others with similar climate and soil regime are known to be bear, dominated with less productive species, grazed on by livestock for over a century and feared that they may undergo undesirable shift in state.
Management of such land requires that processes which can do the following to be put in place:
Return the land to a more historically representative plant composition, productivity, and ground cover
Increase precipitation capture in the soil
Enhance cycling of nutrients in the soil and
Increase water flow.
Increase precipitation capture in the soil. Semi arid areas are known to receive 400 to 1000mm of rainfall annually and sometimes the amount of rainfall might be less than the normally expected. This little and seasonal rainfall can limit the production of crop. On reaching the soil surface, rainwater is fated to move through and across the soil plant system by many routes just to mention a few, surface runoff, evapotranspiration, percolation and direct evaporation (FAO corporate document repository). Improvement of precipitation capture can be through a number of processes categorized as: soil-related, plant related and cropping practices aimed at increasing efficiency and moisture use. Soil-related techniques used to increase precipitation capture are: detaining water on the surface to lengthen the time for infiltration. This can be achieved by stable mulching, rough surface tillage and planting on contour. Preventing splash erosion and loss of soil depth caused by gully can be done by increasing cover crop plants and building conservation banks such as dams and terraces to store unavoidable runoff. Other mentioned methods are covering soil, minimizing direct evaporation by mulching, and increasing soil capacity for infiltration by scarification. Plant related problems on the other hand are minimized to increase water capture by adding nutrients to the soil, scarification to improve soil aeration and wide crop spacing to reduce evapotranspiration. Cropping practices done increase moisture capture includes planting drought resistant crops such as cassava and planting deep rooted plants.
Enhance cycling of nutrients. Pant-soil relationship should be managed to enhance soil fertility. However, this can only be achieved in the presence of nutrients and the necessary microbes which aids in the various nutrient cycles (soil.ncsu.edu).
The cycles are phosphorous, nitrogen, carbon and hydrological (water) cycles. The cycles should be managed in relevant manner. Carbon cycle for example is the source of carbon required in the process of photosynthesis which entails production of carbon dioxide and movement of the carbon nutrient into the soil and finally to the atmosphere (carbongrazing.com.au)
The synergy of the above methods if incorporated in the management of range lands or semi arid lands results in restoration of the land to its previous productive state. Just to mention, to increase water flow into the soil methods of increasing aeration, permeability, soil depth and gypsum spheres are incorporated (wily.com).
Works Cited
"Department of Soil Science at NC State University, Julie M. Grossman." Department of Soil Science at NC State University, Main Page. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 May 2012. .
Agricultural Investment to Promote Improved Capture and Use of Rainfall and Dryland Farming." FAO: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, for a world without hunger. Version 10. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 May 2012. .
"www.Carbongrazing.com.au." urlspy - Simplified website statistics & valuation data. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 May 2012. .
"The use of gypsum spheres for identifying water flow routes in soils - Crabtree - 2006 - Earth Surface Processes and Landforms - Wiley Online Library." Wiley Online Library. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 May 2012. . Read More
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