Soil Erosion

Elsevier, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, Volume 50, June 2021
Climate change has affected diverse spheres and its impact is being witnessed worldwide. Soil, the basis of human sustenance, is both directly and indirectly affected by climate change. Soil erosion, vegetation degradation and soil salinisation are becoming prevalent, causing a threat to future food security. Saline soils are found mainly in North and Central Asia, Africa and South America. Various factors such as excess irrigation and poor drainage, groundwater salinity, sea level rise and intrusion, irregular rainfall contribute to the process of soil salinisation.
Climate, land use and land cover (LULC) changes are among the primary driving forces of soil loss. Decoupling their effects can help in understanding the magnitude and trend of soil loss in response to human activities and ecosystem management. Here, the RUSLE model was applied to estimate the spatial-temporal variations of soil loss rate in the Three Gorges Reservoir (TGR) area during 2001–2015, followed by a scenario design to decouple the effects of climate and LULC changes. The results showed that increasing rainfall generated as much as 2.90 × 107 t soil loss in the TGR area.
In many tropical regions, such as New Caledonia, soil erosion from anthropogenic activities and subsequent ecological restoration are major issues that require detailed soil and vegetation data for the production of management plans. To determine if some plant species are more useful for stabilizing soil aggregates and thus reducing erodibility, we examined three species endemic to New Caledonia, and measured how root traits and associated mycorrhizas and fungi influenced Ferralsol aggregate stability (MWD).