Encyclopedia of Natural Hazards

2013 Edition
| Editors: Peter T. Bobrowsky

Land Degradation

  • Matija Zorn
  • Blaž Komac
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4399-4_207


Land degradation is a natural or human-induced process (Figure 1) that negatively affects the land to function effectively within an environmental system and can be defined as a process of degrading land from a former state. Land degradation is closely related to sensitivity, resilience, and carrying capacity of land, as well as to vulnerability of people living on and from these lands. It may be defined as the loss of utility or potential utility, or reduction, loss, or change of features or organisms which cannot be replaced (Barrow, 1991). A pure anthropogenic definition of land degradation is the loss of a sustained economic, cultural, or ecological function due to human activity in combination with natural processes (Bush, 2006).
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Scientific Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and ArtsAnton Melik Geographical InstituteLjubljanaSlovenia