Land degradation is arguably Australia's major environmental problem. As in the rest of the world, rapid population growth and the advocacy of certain rural technology in Australia have led to accelerated soil erosion, soil fertility decline, the loss of wildlife habitants and genetic resources, and deterioration of surface and ground water. Serious social and economic consequences have emerged. This book takes a rigorous, scientific approach, looking at the nature and process of land degradation, its causes and its effects. Yet these stages are not discrete: they are inextricably interwoven. In addition, land degradation is a complex response to the interaction between people and their biophysical environment. Rural Land Degradationexamines the nature of the overall problem in a global context, the degradation of Australia's ecosystems, problems associated with the increasing use of synthetic chemicals, the direct and underlying causes of land degradation as well asthe broader social and economic implications. The final chapter evaluates some solutions to the range of identified problems. Students of geography, agriculture, environmental science and rural planning, along with all members of the community interested in an objective appraisal of land degradation will find this an engaging, accessible and informative book.
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