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Degradation of soils threat of global ecological crisis



G.V. Dobrovolsky

In consciousness of most of people and a part of scientific community the idea of the soil is associated only with agriculture, mainly with agriculture. This representation has deep roots and reflects centuries-old experience of agriculture as main way of receiving food.

But at all evidence of such point of view on properties of soils it does not reflect all importance of the soil in life of the nature and the person.

The further knowledge of soils develops, the horizons of the importance of soils in the biosphere and human life are moved apart more widely.

Several words to the background. The history of initial knowledge of soils goes to depth of time and belongs to Mesolith era, that is the middle Stone Age - 7-8 thousand years BC. Then the person passed from collecting of natural fruits and hunting for wild animals to cultivation of food by cultivation of the earth. It was the great boundary in the history of mankind, comparable with discovery of artificial fire.

Within several millennia in different countries of the world there was an accumulation of knowledge of soils and their fertility in the course of agriculture improvement. It reached especially high level in ancient prirechny civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, India and China. It is remarkably told about them in the book by the Russian agronomist and botanist I.N. Klingen "Among patriarchs of agriculture of the people of the Near and far East. Egypt, India, Ceylon, China". Even more extensive knowledge of soils was reached by farmers and agronomists of Ancient Rome. Their compositions reached us in Classics of Natural Sciences library (Katon, Varron, Kolumella, Pliny's compositions). The fertility of the soil was perceived as the divine force of the earth, and worship of Earth was reflected in numerous legends and myths.

Accumulation in field experiments of knowledge of a variety of soils and their fertility happened up to HUSh-H1H of centuries in the course of agriculture improvement. The greatest achievements in this plan are connected in Russia in the 18th century with a name of Andrey Timofeyevich Bolotov (1738-1833) - the founder of domestic skilled agronomics, and in Western Europe - with Albrecht Teier (1752-1828), the founder of the first-ever Higher agronomical school in Germany and the author of the three-volume work "Fundamentals of Rational Agriculture".

Age of globalization 2/2008 54-65

At the end of XVIII and the beginning of the 19th century the chemistry, including Robert Boyle (1627-1691), M.V. Lomonosov (1711-1765) and Antoine Lavoisier's works began to have mighty impact on studying fertility of soils (1743-1794).

The early scientific pilot studies of fertility of soils with application of methods of chemistry were directed to clarification of a role of the soil in food of agricultural plants. Opening of processes of photosynthesis and root mineral food of plants by the Swiss scientists Senebye (1742-1809) and Saussure was essential (1767-1845).

These researches led to formation in the middle of the 19th century of agrochemistry and physiology of plants. The German chemist Justus Libich (1803-1873) and the French chemist and the physiologist Jean Boussengo deservedly were considered as founders of these sciences (1802-1887).

Use of mineral fertilizers against the background of crop rotations with use of a kleveroseyaniye allowed to provide substantial increase of fertility of the European soils and productivity of agricultural plants in the 19th and 20th centuries. And still experience of agriculture on droughty lands showed that the fertility of soils depends not only on stocks of elements of mineral food of plants in them. That by the Russian chernozem differing in a large supply of nutrients, but which began to lose the fertility in the 19th century was served as a striking example. In this regard Free economic society of Russia sent in the 70th of the 19th century of the young geologist V.V. Dokuchayev to chernozem areas for clarification of the reasons of loss of fertility by chernozems and development of measures against droughts.

Iskhodiv on foot in 1877-1880 more than 10 thousand versts, having made field observations of a variety of soils in the Southern and Central Russia, having collected and having analyzed thousands of samples of soils, Dokuchayev came to a conclusion that the reason of falling of fertility of chernozems lies in their wrong use in agriculture, in loss by chernozems of favorable agrophysical properties, destruction of their addition and structure, violation of the water-air mode. V.V. Dokuchayev proved the harmonious system of measures for recovery of fertility of chernozems and the favorable water mode of steppes of Russia.

At the same time Dokuchayev made outstanding discovery, having seen in soils special as he spoke, "quite independent" the natural-historical natural bodies created on the surface of the terrestrial land under the influence of many natural factors and conditions of soil formation and demanding special methods of a research and economic use.

V.V. Dokuchayev published results of the researches in fundamental scientific work "Russian Chernozem" 1. This work not only laid the foundation of new natural-historical science about soils - genetic soil science, but also had a huge impact on drawing up and development of the whole range adjacent natural and the humanities - modern physical geography, quarternary geology and geomorphology, geobotany and soil zoology, mineralogy and soil microbiology, hydrogeology and a lesovedeniye, archeology, etc.

1 Dokuchayev, V.V. Russian chernozem: report to Imperial Free economic society. - SPb.: Imp. Free house-keeper. about-in, 1883.

Developing methods of agricultural assessment of lands in the 80-90th of the 19th century on the example of the Nizhny Novgorod and Poltava provinces, V.V. Dokuchayev together with the pupil and the follower N.M. Sibirtsev proved essentially new field method of cartography of soils and drawing up multi-scale soil cards. These methods allowed to prove that soils are widespread on Earth not accidentally, not chaotically, and is quite natural also according to indissoluble communication of their genesis with other natural factors - climate, soil, a relief, vegetation and fauna, the geological history of the country.

For the first time in the history of science in 1899 V. Dokuchayev made the schematic card of soil zones of the Northern hemisphere Zemli2 and in 1900 under its edition the soil card of the European part Rossii3 in scale 1 was made: 2,520,000.

After these cards world soil cards and maps of certain continents of Earth of K.D. Glinka, D.G. Vilensky, L.I. Prasolov, I.P. Gerasimov, Ch. Kellogg followed.

Especially the Soil world map under edition of the academician L.I. of Prasolova4 published in 1937 in the Big Soviet atlas of the world in scale 1 was important: 50,000,000. She included generalization of all of soil cartographic materials known by then and, being compared with the world card of agriculture, allowed to find out for the first time geography, use and the prospects of development of soil resources of the world.

Already then it was shown that these prospects are not boundless, and agricultural use of soils should not be uncontrolled. In life it was far not so.

In 1934 in the USA owing to broad and uncontrolled plowing of prairies of Central Valley there was a severe air erosion of soils (deflation) which kicked up the huge mass of dust in air, eclipsed for some time the sky over Washington and New York. The arable horizons of soils on the area about 40 million hectares were destroyed. The event was announced by national disaster. The U.S. President F. Roosevelt said that "the people which destroy the soil destroy itself". In 1935 in this regard the event organized Public service of protection of soils, and in 1939 the law on preservation of soils was adopted.

The similar phenomena of strong dust storms and a wind erosion of soils occurred also in the Soviet Union in the 60-70th of the last century after plowing of the big areas of virgin lands in the south of Western Siberia, in northern Kazakhstan and the Volga region.

All the water and wind erosion of soils increasing in the second half of the 20th century, deforestation, technogenic pollution of soils, fresh waters and the World Ocean, industrial emissions in atmospheric air - all this began to accept the global sizes. For the first time in the history of a civilization the production activity of the person began to threaten the developed balance of natural processes on the planet Earth.

2 Dokuchayev, V.V. Soil zones of the northern hemisphere (scheme). - 1899.
3 Sibirtsev, N.M., Tanfilyev, G.I., Ferkhmin, A.O. The soil map of the European Russia / under the editorship of V.V. Dokuchayev. - M, 1900.
4 Prasolov, L.I. World soil card//Big Soviet atlas of the world. - M, 1937. - T. 1. - L. 40-42.

Understanding of danger of global ecological crisis induced the United Nations to organize in 1972 in Stockholm the special session devoted to problems of environmental protection and regulation of use of natural resources.

The X anniversary International congress of soil scientists which took place in 1974 in Moscow also for the first time considered a role and value of a soil earth's mantle in functioning of its biosphere. In 1977 in Nairobi the World conference of the UN on desertification and degradation of soils was convened. In five years, in 1982, the World organization for food (FAO) adopted "The world charter of soils" in which urged the governments of all countries to consider a soil mantle of Earth and each country as the world property of mankind.

it would Seem to

>, scientific community becomes not so a little to draw attention of the governments of all countries to pressing problems of environmental management, including also problems of preservation and rational use of soils. Unfortunately, the efficiency of these appeals and realization of the offered actions were not corresponding to their importance. It was recognized at the second special Conference of the UN on environmental management and sustainable development in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and at the World Summit on sustainable development in Johannesburg in 2002

Being concerned by state of environment, a number of the international organizations carried out the analysis of a condition of natural resources, including soils and land fund of the world in the 80-90th of the 20th century. It turned out that the area of pakhotnoprigodny lands on the planet Earth makes 3 billion 278 million hectares, or 22% of all area of sushi. Moreover, it is high - and sredneproduktivny soils (completely to the end of the century opened and mastered) make only 9% of the area of the terrestrial land (tab. 1).

Table 1

The factors limiting use of lands in agriculture

(SCOPE, 1987)

Factor Acreage

one million hectares % of total area of sushi

1 2 3

Glacial covers 1440 10

Very cold lands 2235 15

Very dry lands 2533 17

Very steep slopes 2682 18

Very low-power soils 1341 9

Very damp soils 596 4

Very poor soils 745 5

Total unsuitable lands 11622 78

Unproductive soils 1937 13

Umerennoproduktivny soils 894 6

Termination of tab. 1

1 2 3

Highly productive soils 447 3

Total pakhotnoprigodny lands 3278 22

Total area of land of Earth 14900 100

Other lands on different climatic, geological and orographical conditions are not suitable for agriculture.

The modern world arable land occupies about 1.5 billion hectares. The remaining not opened lands are presented mainly by soils of little use and demanding big costs of their development - it krasnotsvetny sour and lixivious ferrallitny soils is constant tropical rainforests and also the soil of dry tropical and subtropical savannas with the solonetzic and salted soils.

In 1990. The international reference soil center in the Netherlands together with UNEP made the card of anthropogenic degradation of soils which demonstrated the global amount of this extremely dangerous process. It became clear that nearly 2 billion hectares of soils are subject to different extent of degradation, from them 55.6% are the share of a water erosion, 27.9% - of wind (deflation), 12.2% - of salinization, pollution, exhaustion of soils, 4.2% - of mechanical reconsolidation and flooding.

It is necessary to add to these data that for the historical period the mankind already lost about 2 billion hectares of once fertile soils, having turned them into anthropogenic deserts and inconvenient lands. And it is most than the total area of world agriculture! Loss of the fertile mastered soils continues and presently. Annually agricultural use is left by about 8 million hectares due to alienation for other economic needs and about 7 million hectares - as a result of various processes of degradation. Thus, every year the mankind at the end of the 20th century lost about 15 million hectares productive ugodiy5. And it is meanwhile established that process of degradation of soils goes with the increasing speed: in the second half of the last century it increased by 30 times in comparison with Wednesdays-neistoricheskoy6.


Area and extent of degradation of soils (Global Assessment of Soil)

Types and extent of degradation Area

of one million hectares %

1 2 3

TYPE: Washout and destruction by a water erosion of Razvevaniye and destruction by a wind erosion Chemical degradation (impoverishment by batteries, salinization, pollution, acidulation) 1093,7 548,3 239,1 55,6 27,9 12,2

5 Romanova, E.P., Kurakova, L.I., Ermakov, Yu.G. Natural resources of the world. - M.: MSU publishing house, 1993. - Page 57.
6 Rose trees, B.G., Targulyan, V.O., Eagles, D.S. Global trends of change of soils and soil cover//Soil science. - 1989. - No. 5.

Termination of tab. 2

1 2 3

Physical degradation (reconsolidation, bogging,

drawdowns) 83.3 4.2

In total 1964.4 100


weak 749.0 38.1

moderate 910.5 46.4

strong 295.7 15.1

very strong 9.3 0.5

Having looked at the world card of degradation of soils, we will see that the largest areas of degradirovanny soils belong to the countries and areas of old intensive agriculture.

What value has use of soils for providing mankind with food presently, it is well visible according to table 3.

Table 3

Products of agriculture, pasturable livestock production and sea fish breeding (in terms of grain equivalents) 7

Grain, million tons Specific weight

Production of grain in agriculture 1855 77

Products of pasturable livestock production (beef, mutton) 378 16

Products of sea fish breeding 172 7

In total 2405 100

Therefore, the modern mankind receives more than 90% of food as a result of use of fertility of soils in agriculture and livestock production. Meanwhile, as it was already shown, the area of fertile soils on Earth everything is reduced, and the population of Earth everything increases.

According to the forecast of the UN, the world's population by 2050 will increase by 3.3 billion people and will reach more than 9 billion. If during the first half of the 20th century the area under grain was per capita reduced in the world from 0.23 to 0.12 hectares, then by 2005 it will make only 0.07 hectares. And it is already critical size which will be very difficult to be compensated by further increase in fertility of soils. Came it is time to understand that fertile soil is a final natural resource, for human life not less significant, than clean air and fresh water!

7 Brown, L.R. Pokonchit with hunger: the challenge is thrown down/L. R. Brown, K. Fleyvin, H.F. French, etc.//State of peace of 2001: report of Worldwatch Institute on development in a way to steady society. - M.: Whole world, 2003. - Page 64.

And meanwhile the ecological value of a soil cover in the biosphere and human life is not limited to a role of the supplier of food for people at all.

The modern soil science considers soils as the multipurpose natural systems providing the cyclic nature of reproduction of life on the terrestrial land.

Table 4

Biogeotsenotichesky functions of the soil

8 Kovda, V.A. Rol and functions of a soil cover in the biosphere of Earth. - Pushchino: Pre-print, 1985; Dobrovolsky, Nikitin, E.D. Functions of soils in the biosphere and ecosystems (ecological value of soils). - M.: Science, 1990.

The ecological functions of soils connected with their physical properties consist first of all in the special structure of a living space in which small animals live, microorganisms and the root system of plants functions. The soil zhizneobitayemy space is protected from direct sunshine and it is presented by a huge variety different in the sizes and structure of "vital niches".

The ecological functions of soils caused by their chemical and physicochemical properties provide absorbing ability of soils (sorption of mineral and organic matter, microorganisms), destruction and a mineralization of fossils, resynthesis of mineral and organic substances (humus, enzymes), return of batteries in an available form to roots of plants.

Information functions of soils are shown in ability of soils to remember and keep in soil new growths of a condition of their formation during last historical and geological eras (ancient, relic and buried soils). These information functions of soils find more and more wide use in archeology and paleogeography.

Among integrated all-biological functions of soils functions of the soil as unique habitat of life, link between geological and biological circulations of substances in land biogeocenoses and, of course, the biological efficiency of soils called in agriculture fertility are of particular importance.

The soil really is absolutely unique habitat of the most various types and forms of animals, plants and microorganisms. According to the famous scientist-geneticist Dobzhansky and the Russian biologist M.M. of Kamshilova9, the number of species of the overland animals (living in the soil and on the soil) makes 93% of all number of the known animal species, and types of water inhabitants - only 7%. The same ratio is characteristic and for plants - 92% of plant species are presented land and only 8% - water plants. In general biomass of organisms land makes 99.87%, and the ocean - only 0.13% of total biomass planety10. The root mass of plants literally penetrates all mass of the soil. For example, the total length of roots only of one blossomed plant of a winter wheat reaches 600 km, and length

11 gr

root hairs - thousands of kilometers. Only in one gram of fertile soil there is not one ten billion cages of microorganisms, and the general dry weight them can reach 60-65 tons on hectare. The share of organic carbon in this biomass can make 50-70% of all carbon in pochve12. The soil is the main habitat of invertebrate animals and the simplest monocelled beings: these are earthworms, myriapods, larvae naseko-

9 Dobzansky, T. Genetics and the origin of species. - N. Y.: Columbia Univ. Press, 1953; Kamshilov, M.M. Evolution of the biosphere. - M.: Science, 1974. - Page 75.
10 Bazilevich, N.I., Rodin, L.E., Rozov, N.N. Geographical aspects of studying biological efficiency//Materials of the V congress of the Geographical Society of the USSR. - L.,1970.
11 Maximov, N.A. Short course of physiology of plants. - M.: Selkhozgiz, 1958.
12 Polyanskaya, L.M., Golovchenko, A.V., Zvyagintsev, D.G. Microbic biomass in soils//Reports of Academy of Sciences. - 1995. - T. 344. - No. 6.

my, small pincers, wingless insects. In the thinnest films of water enveloping soil particles kolovratka, flagellates scurry about, amoebas creep, small roundworms coil. A variety of life forms in soils is so high that the outstanding Russian biologist academician M.S. Gilyarov called the soil "the main storage of a genetic variety of life on our planet" and "an ecological board of the biosphere" 13.

Such saturation of the soil life is explained by the heterogeneous structural organization of the soil as natural body which at the same time consists of a firm, liquid and gas phase of substances represents the unequigranular friable weight consisting of mineral, organic and organomineral komponentov14. All this creates an exclusive variety of ecological conditions for life of the organisms living in the soil. At the same time it must be kept in mind that characteristic species and communities of plants, animals and microorganisms are peculiar to each type and view of soils quite certain and only for them.

The founder of microsoil science Walter Kubijena paid attention to this feature of the soil as habitats and activity of soil organisms. In microscopic sizes the soil not homogeneous mass, but the whole difficult organized world consisting of an exclusive variety of microecological niches V. noted Kubiyena15.

If the soil really is the richest life the environment of its dwelling (and in it there is no doubt any more), then it means that without preservation of soils and their variety it is impossible to keep also biological diversity on Earth that is recognized as scientific community of one of the most current problems of the present presently.

The second major ecological function of soils is their role as a binding geochemical link of biological and geological circulation of substances in land ecosystems. Owing to selective sorption their accumulation and deduction from carrying out to the ocean processes of denudation of sushi comes plants and a soil biota of biofilny elements in the soil. The extent of the quantity of biofilny elements withheld in soils in overall balance of biological and geological circulations of substances between the land and the ocean is how big, it is possible to judge by many examples, including by different "fate" of potassium and sodium. Both elements contain in izverzhenny breeds approximately in identical quantities (about 2.5%), and here in sea water where all ionic drain from the land comes to the ocean, the content of biofilny potassium is 25 times less, than sodium. It is a consequence of "deduction" of biofilny potassium at all stages of biogeochemical aeration of massive breeds, soil-forming process with formation of clay minerals and involvement of potassium in structure of plants and animals as biofilny elementa16.

13 Gilyarov, M.S., Krivolutsky, D.A. Zhizn of the soil. - M.: Young Guard, 1985.
14 Dobrovolsky, Trofimov, S.Ya. This surprisingly organized world//Nature. - 2004.-№ 3. - Page 3.
15 Kubiena, W. L. Micropedology. - Ames (IO): Collegiate Press, 1938.
16 Sokolova, T.A. Potash condition of soils, methods of its assessment and way of optimization. - M.: MSU publishing house, 1987.

It is important to note that the lump of the cindery elements involved in biological circulation and withheld in it on the land several times exceeds


the total size of an ionic drain from continents to the ocean.

Such is a regulatory role of soils and a soil biota in the ratio the amount of biological and geological circulations of substances on the terrestrial land.

The third major all-ecological function of soils is their biological efficiency. Despite it is insignificant the small thickness of the soil earth's mantle (only 1-1.5 m) representing, in effect, its thinnest superficial film this film and produces almost all biomass of Earth - 99.8%. The tenth share of percent of biomass of the planet Earth falls to the share of the World Ocean with all huge mass of its water all. And concerning food for mankind as it was already told above, the fertility of the soil provides more than 90% of mass of food of people.

As it was already told above, the soil is the integral component of all land ecosystems (biogeocenoses) and performs the various and irreplaceable ecological functions providing cyclic reproduction of plants, animals and microorganisms, that is a soil biota.

A soil earth's mantle - its pedosphere - carries out global ecological functions, significantly influencing formation and structure of a ground and surface water of sushi, structure and the mode of atmospheric air of Earth, processes of aeration of the top layers of a lithosphere, that is its hyper genesis.


Global functions of the soil

Main categories and types of global functions of the soil

Lithospheric Atmospheric Hydrosferny Biospheric

Biochemical transformation of the top layers of a lithosphere Absorption and reflection of solar radiation Transformation of a surface water in soil The habitat, the accumulator and a source of substance and energy for organisms of sushi

A source of substances for formation of minerals, breeds, minerals A factor of a moisture circulation and the gas mode of the atmosphere Participation in formation of a river drain A link of biological and geological circulations

Protection against the accelerated erosion and relyefoobrazuyushchy function A source firmly - go substance and the microorganisms coming to the atmosphere A factor of biological efficiency of the rivers and reservoirs A protective barrier and a condition of normal functioning of the biosphere

Transfer to the accumulated solar energy to deep parts of a lithosphere The sorption, protecting from pollution barrier of water areas A factor of biological evolution

17 Dobrovolsky, V.V. Fundamentals of biogeochemistry. - M.: The higher school, 1998. - Page 44.

A source of ground waters is an atmospheric precipitation. Being filtered through a soil cover, they perceive zone and regional features of the chemical and mineralogical composition and properties of soils. Therefore it is no wonder that geographical regularities of change of the mode and composition of ground waters are very close to those for geography of soils.

It is known that V.I. Vernadsky connected salt structure not only soil, but even sea waters with biochemical processes in soils. "We usually do not consider and we do not imagine that huge value which has in life and

chemical reactions of the ocean soil cover of sushi. Soil and sea water hi-


michesk are also genetically closely connected".

Biochemical processes in soils have not less impact on structure ground and even higher layers of atmospheric air. It turned out that "breath of the soil" is a powerful factor of influence on composition of atmospheric air, including the content in it of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and other greenhouse gases.

More and more obvious is an impact of biochemical soil processes on hyper genesis of the top layers of a lithosphere. Continental aerations of bark are considered nowadays not only as maternal breeds of soils, but also as direct result of impact of soil-forming processes on the layers of rocks spreading soils.

More and more stoutly V.I. Vernadsky's thoughts of an important role of soils in the history of earth crust and evolution of life on Earth come true. In 1913 he wrote: "... the value of the soil in the biosphere - not only as substrate on which there lives the plant and animal life but as areas of the biosphere where most intensively there are various chemical reactions connected with live 20 becomes clearer and clearer to us


Due to the increasing environmental pollution, especially in the second half of the 20th century (including anthropogenic pollution by industrial wastes, radiation), the important role is got by a question of value of soils. It is only a part of a huge and versatile sanitary and hygienic and medical problem of a modern civilization. We will concern only some of its parties connected with soils.

For a long time it was noticed that there is direct link between specifics of the chemical composition of soils in some areas and presence in them of regional endemic diseases of the person and animals. For example, in Transbaikalia, in a river basin Urov, the disease of joints and in general a bone tissue, received the name of "an urovsky disease" is widespread. Its reason lies in an unusual ratio of content of calcium, strontium, silicon and other elements in soils, waters, vegetable and animal food. On distant pastures of Dagestan the so-called mitosis (disease of muscles) which connect a lot of pine forest in soils, waters and sterns is widespread among sheep. The disease of a thyroid gland because of a lack of iodine of sour podsolic soils of midland areas is known to all.

18 Vernadsky, V.I. Live substance in chemistry of soils / V.I. Vernadsky//Izbr. soch. - M.: Academy of Sciences of the USSR publishing house, 1960. - T. V. - Page 176.
19 Kudeyarov, V.N. Vklad of the soil in balance of CO2 of the atmosphere in the territory of Russia//Reports of Academy of Sciences. - 2000. - T. 375. - No. 2. - Page 275-277.
20 Vernadsky, V.I.K to a question of the chemical composition of soils//Soil science. - 1913. - No. 2-3. - Page 1-21.

Having generalized the similar phenomena, the academician A.P. Vinogradov marked out special soil and geochemical anomalies and developed the doctrine about "biogeochemical provinces". But matter not only in biogeochemical anomalies. The phenomena of long-term microbiological pollution of soils and the related such diseases as tetanus, anthrax, botulism are known. More and more widely the allergic diseases caused microscopic soil extend


The special place on danger and difficulty of elimination occupies radiation pollution of soils. Huge harm was done in this case by events on the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and in South Ural around activity of the Mayak enterprise. Toxic pollution of soils radionuclides, oil products, waste of extraction of non-ferrous metals and according to pollution by heavy metals and also toxic chemicals in agriculture are especially difficult removable because soils unlike the water environment and air have no ability to disseminate elements of "poison", and, on the contrary, strongly absorb them and accumulate in the structure.

All extending technogenic pollution of soils demands the organization of careful soil and sanitary monitoring. The soil and human health - this problem gets presently more and more relevance.

In this short essay the author sought to show, the ecological role of the soil in the biosphere and human life is how big and irreplaceable and the danger all of the extending process of degradation of a soil cover of the world is how real. Processes of degradation of soils are not so noticeable as deforestation, pollution of water and air, but from it they are not less pernicious, especially by the consequences, for existence of life on Earth.

Very successfully process of degradation of soils was called by "silent crisis of the planet" by the head of the Washington Institute of the global observation Lester of Braun22. And the French scientist Jean Dorst told the largest authority on the field of ecology and environmental protection in the widely famous Book "Before the Nature Dies": "The soil - our most precious capital. Life and wellbeing of all complex of the land biocenoses natural and artificial, depends finally on the thin layer forming the topmost cover of Earth" 23. It is, naturally, about the soil.

And in conclusion we will provide one more evidence of more and more deep understanding of the place and a role of the soil in ensuring wellbeing of life on Earth. These are thoughts of recently died outstanding mathematician and the thinker academician N.N. Moiseyev: "The soil, a soil cover, takes the key place in a biota of sushi. Will not be exaggeration to tell that the soil is a basis of the biosphere... The fertility of the soil is a basis of wellbeing of mankind" 24.

From this it follows that protection and preservation of a soil earth's mantle have to become nearly the most acute problem of modern world environmental policy.

21 Marfenina, O.E. Anthropogenic ecology of soil mushrooms. - M.: Medicine for all, 2005.
22 Brown, L. State of the World of 1984: A Worldwatch Institute Report on Progress Toward a Sustainable Society. - N. Y.: Norton Co, 1984.
23 Dorst, Zh. Before the nature dies. - M.: Progress, 1968.
24 Moses, N.N. Ecologiya of mankind mathematician's eyes. - M.: Young Guard, 1988. - Page 104.
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