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The creation of the Serengiti National Park has lead to the overgrazing of marginal lands.


This Geography quiz is called 'Desertification' and it has been written by teachers to help you if you are studying the subject at high school. Playing educational quizzes is a user-friendly way to learn if you are in the 9th or 10th grade - aged 14 to 16.

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One of the topics looked at in high school Geography is the degradation of dryland - also know as desertification. This quiz looks at the causes of, and some possible solutions to, desertification.

Which of the following is not a way that planting trees will help reduce desertification?
By acting as a wind-break to reduce the amount of sand being blown away
By producing water as rainfall in the immediate area
By providing a source of sustainable fuel
By protecting the remaining soil and allowing a leaf litter layer to develop
Charity programs, such as that of the Green Cross in Burkina Faso, educate local populations on the use of plant nurseries and fuel saving stoves
Dams have been built on a number of major rivers to increase the amount of water available for drinking and agriculture. How can artificial irrigation increase desertification?
It causes rapid soil erosion
It causes salinisation of the soil
It causes soil contamination
It causes sheet erosion
Salinisation is an increase in levels of salt in the soil as minerals are drawn up to the surface by water evaporation
Magic stones are a project in which piles of stones are placed across slopes. How do these help reduce desertification?
The stones prevent soil blowing away by holding it down
The stones slow surface water run-off and soil erosion
The stones stop goats and other grazing animals destroying the vegetation
The stones remind people that the soil needs to be protected
These piles of stones are laid across a slope and trap surface water runoff, so reducing soil erosion
How can rainfall be made more reliable in areas under threat from desertification?
Better weather forecasting
Damming of rivers
Better crop selection
Cloud Seeding
Some people believe that messing with the atmosphere in this high-tech way may have as yet unknown impacts
Which of the following is not a possible strategy to reduce desertification?
Havesting branches rather than complete trees for fire wood
Controlled burning of grasslands to reduce the spread of wildfires
Reducing the number of livestock animals
Developing national parks and reserves where local people aren't permitted
The creation of the Serengiti National Park has lead to the overgrazing of marginal lands
How can plant science help increase the amount of vegetation in areas and so slow, or even reverse desertification?
By developing or discovering more drought resistant versions of crops such as millet and cotton
By creating new crops from varieties such as algaes and cactus
By changing the ground in specific ways to suit the water-intensive crops that are required
By developing treatments and medicines to help the crops survive times when there is little water
Genetically modified crops can help in these situations, as can moving crops from a different area, such as moving early maturing millet from southern to northern Mali. Improving the soil using fertilizers such as animal dung also helps
In areas under threat from desertification, people are forced to use marginal lands. How are these marginal lands defined?
Lands along the edges of a desert or a lake
Lands that form the boundary between two tribal areas. Grazing here can lead to tribal conflict
Lands that have little or no potential for profit. They often have poor soils or other undesirable characteristics
Lands that are at the edges of cities and may be heavily contaminated
Lands that are considered marginal for crops may be suitable for animal grazing in some circumstances, or for different farming methods
Which of the following is a human cause of desertification?
Increased flock and herd size
Seasonal rainfall being unreliable
Climate change
Certain crops going extinct
Whilst climate change is influenced by human activity, it is considered a natural cause of desertification rather than a human one
Which of the following is a disadvantage of afforestation?
Trees lock up carbon dioxide
Newly planted trees prevent other plants from getting water
Trees prevent windblown sand moving to form sand dunes
Trees become a source of firewood that will be used in stoves by local people
The trees may die due to lack of water. It could be argued that funding could be better spent on more effective projects
Which of the following is a physical cause of desertification?
Changing farming practices
Climate change
Climate change is a leading cause of desertification, along with unsustainable land usage
Author:  Ruth M

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