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Land Resources- Geography Guide for Class 8

Land Resources- Geography Guide for Class 8

Information about Land Resources

Title

Land Resources

Class

Class 8

Subject

Class 8 Geography

Topics Covered

  • Earth
  • Land Resources
  • Lithosphere
  • Land Use


Earth is a unique planet in the solar system. 
  • Life is possible on the earth because of the four spheres—lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere.
  • Earth's surface is divided into two parts, i.e. land and water.
  • Land covers about 30% of the total surface area of the earth and water about 70% of its total surface. 

Land Resources

The most important natural resource upon which all human activity is based is land. It is used for growing crops, building houses, constructing roads and railway tracks, establishing industries, grazing animals, mining, etc. In short, almost all human activities related to food, shelter and clothing take place on land. 
  • Lithosphere consists of loose surface material called soil. It is a combination of organic and inorganic matter.
  • The organic component which consists of dead and decomposed parts of animals and plants is known as humus.
  • The inorganic component is formed by rock particles and minerals, such as lime, iron, etc.
  • Soil is formed as a result of the long, continued weathering process of rocks.
  • It also contains water and air, which occupy its pore spaces.
  • About 90% of the world's population is inhabited in the plain areas of the alluvial soils of the tropical and sub-tropical areas.
  • These are the areas of intensive crop cultivation with high yields.
  • All these areas support dense population.
In contrast, sparse population is seen in areas of high altitudes, deserts and equatorial forest regions where slopes are steep, temperature is either too hot or too cold, soils are thin and infertile. These areas are inhabited by people who are engaged in hunting, gathering, fishing and shifting agriculture.

Land Use

Land is used for various purposes, such as cultivation of crops, building of houses, construction of roads and railways, grazing of animals, etc. This is commonly known as land use pattern. The percentage of land used for various purposes varies from one region to another.
  • The utilisation of land is determined by the continuous interplay of the physical factors, such as relief, soil, climatic conditions, mineral resources, etc., and the human factors like density of population and the technological and social requirements of the people.
  • The study of land use pattern is important for the economic planning of a nation.
  • It helps in assessing shortcomings in the land utilisation.
  • Countries decide the land use according to their development goals and availability of natural resources. 
  • According to the scientific norms, 33% area of the world should be under forest to maintain ecological balance.
  • At present, only 31.6% area of the world is covered by forest. Out of this, 93% of the forests are naturally occurring, while the other 7% are man-made.
  • The earth's forest cover is unevenly distributed with some countries having most of their land covered by forest while others have only limited forest cover.
  • It is very important for us to take initiative to conserve forests by discouraging deforestation and encouraging afforestation. The availability of land on earth is limited. 
There is conflict over the access and rights of this natural resource. It has also resulted in tough competition between the agriculture and other sectors over usage of land. Moreover, land also suffers from various problems, such as soil erosion, degradation and deforestation. It is crucial to reduce land degradation and ensure the optimum use of land resources for the benefit of the present and future generations. Land management is a holistic approach for achieving productive and balanced ecosystem by integrating socio–economic needs of the people. 
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