NCERT Class 8 Geography Chapter 2 - Land, Soil, Water, Natural Vegetation and Wildlife Resources

Chapter 2 - Land, Soil, Water, Natural Vegetation and Wildlife Resources

Question and Answers
Question 1: Mention the reason why places differ from each other.
Answer:
The main reason places differ from each other because of the differences in the quality of land, soil, water, natural vegetation, animals and the usage of technology.

Question 2: Why is the distribution of population uneven in different parts of the world? Give reasons why plains and river valleys are the most densely populated areas of the world.
Answer:

• The uneven distribution of population in different parts of the world is mainly due to varied characteristics of land and climate.
• The rugged topography, steep slopes of the mountains, low-lying areas susceptible to water logging, desert areas, thick forested areas are normally sparsely populated or uninhabited.
• Plains and river valleys offer suitable land for agriculture. Hence, these are the densely populated areas of the world.

Question 3: On what basis land is classified into private land and community land? What is the difference between private and community land?
Answer:

• Land can be classified on the basis of ownership as - private land and community land.
• Private land is owned by individuals.
• Whereas, community land is owned by the community for common uses like collection of fodder, fruits, nuts or medicinal herbs. These community lands are also called common property resources.

Question 4: Which are the two main climatic factors responsible for soil formation?
Answer:
• Temperature and rainfall are the two main climatic factors responsible for soil formation.
• Both these factors promote weathering, that is, breaking down of rocks and humus formation.

Question 5: Write any two reasons for land degradation today.
Answer:
Two reasons for land degradation are:
• Large scale destruction of forest cover
• Excessive use of chemical pesticides and fertilisers in agricultural lands

Question 6: Why is land considered an important resource?
Answer:
Land is considered an important resource because it can be used for different purposes such as agriculture, forestry, mining, building houses, roads and setting up of industries.
It also serves as a habitat for a variety of flora and fauna.

Question 7: Name any three steps that government has taken to conserve plants and animals.
Answer:
Two steps that the government has taken to conserve plants and animals are:
• Establishment of national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and biosphere reserves to protect our natural vegetation and wildlife. For example, Kaziranga National Park in Assam.
• Putting a ban on killing of lions, tigers, deer, great Indian bustards and peacocks.
• Various awareness programmes like Vanamohatasava and social forestry have been encouraged at the regional and the community level.

Question 8: Define the following:
a) National park
b) Biosphere reserves
Answer:

a) National Park: A natural area designated to protect the ecological integrity of one or more ecosystems for present and future generations.
b) Biosphere reserves: Series of protected areas linked through a global network, intended to demonstrate the relationship between conservation and development.

Question 9: Write the reasons for water scarcity in many regions of the world.
Answer:
The various reasons for water scarcity in many regions of the world are
• Increasing population
• Rising demands for food and cash crops
• Increasing urbanisation
• Rising standards of living

Question 10: Suggest three (any three) ways to conserve water.
Answer:
Water can be conserved by the following three ways:
• Rain-water harvesting system should be used to collect the rain water and store it for future use.
• The canals used for irrigating fields should be properly lined to minimise losses by water seepage.
• Forest and other vegetation slow the surface runoff and replenish the ground water.
• Water harvesting also save surface runoff.
• Using sprinklers effectively irrigate the area by checking water losses through seepage and evaporation.
• In dry regions with high rates of evaporation, drip or trickle irrigation is very useful.

Question 11: Define landslides. What are some broad mitigation techniques of landslides?
Answer:

• Landslides are simply defined as the mass movement of rock, debris or earth down a slope.
Some broad mitigation techniques of landslide are as follows:
• Hazard mapping locate areas prone to landslides. Hence, such areas can be avoided for building settlements.
• Construction of retention wall to stop land from slipping.
• Increase in the vegetation cover is an effective way to arrest landslide.
• The surface drainage control works are implemented to control the movement of landslide along with rain water and spring flows.

Question 12: Explain the different methods of soil conservation?
Answer:
Some methods of soil conservation are:
• Mulching: The bare ground between plants is covered with a layer of organic matter like straw. It helps to retain soil moisture.
• Contour barriers: Stones, grass, soil is used to build barriers along contours. Trenches are made in front of the barriers to collect water.
• Rock dam: Rocks are piled up to slow down the flow of water. This prevents gullies and further soil loss.
• Terrace farming: These are made on the steep slopes so that flat surfaces are available to grow crops. They can reduce surface run-off and soil erosion.
• Intercropping: Different crops are grown in alternate rows and are sown at different times to protect the soil from rain wash.
• Contour ploughing: Ploughing parallel to the contours of a hill slope to form a natural barrier for water to flow down the slope.
• Shelter belts: In the coastal and dry regions, rows of trees are planted to check the wind movement to protect soil cover.

Question 13: What are the reasons for extinction of different species?
Answer:
The various reasons for extinction of different species are
• Deforestation
• Soil erosion
• Constructional activities
• Forest fires
• Tsunami and landslides
• The animals are poached for collection and illegal trade of hides, skins, nails, teeth, horns as well as feathers. Some of these animals are tiger, lion, elephant, deer, black buck, crocodile, rhinoceros, snow leopard, ostrich and peacock.

Question 14: Vegetation and wildlife are valuable resources. Justify the statement.
Answer:

• Vegetation and wildlife are valuable resources.
• Plants provide us with timber, give shelter to animals, produce oxygen we breathe, protects soils so essential for growing crops.
• They also act as shelter belts, help in storage of underground water, give us fruits, nuts, latex, turpentine oil, gum, medicinal plants and also the paper.
• Wildlife includes animals, birds, insects as well as the aquatic life forms. They provide us milk, meat, hides and wool.
• Insects like bees provide us honey, help in pollination of flowers and play as decomposers.
• The birds feed on insects and act as decomposers as well.
• Vulture due to its ability to feed on dead livestock is a scavenger and considered a vital cleanser of the environment.

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