Soil erosion | Soil degradation | Ecosystem decline
Soil degradation occurs where our activities (either directly or indirectly) cause soil to become less vigorous or less healthy.
Soil degradation includes the following:
Bare ground produced by salt accumulation with erosion occurring as a consequence
Soil salinity is the accumulation of salts in a soil profile such that it limits plant growth. Additional information about the process of soil salinity is available on the VRO website.
Photograph of a compacted zone of soil immediately below the plough layer in a cropping soil
Compaction is where soil particles pack together increasing soil density and reducing pore space. Trafficking (by animals as well as by vehicles) and cultivation are the primary causes of this form of soil degradation. Additional information about the process of compaction is available on the VRO website.
A diagrammatic representation of the causes of soil acidity showing the importance of product removal and nitrate leaching in the process
Acidification is a decrease in soil pH that usually results in a reduction in plant vigour. Additional information about the process of acidification is available on the VRO website.
Photograph of an area of waterlogged soil in a flat landscape with free water building-up on the soil surface
Waterlogging is where water saturates the profile usually due to reduction in infiltration and transmission of water into soil. Additional information about the process of waterlogging is available on the VRO website.