Changes to land use in recent years have been drastic, and have had wide-ranging effects on the environment. As the ‘skin’ of the Earth, the Critical Zone has been particularly heavily affected by human activity. This zone comprises the planet’s land surface, soil, vegetation and bodies of water, and is home to complex interactions between rock, soil, water, air and living organisms. It provides services critical for life on Earth, regulating the environment and providing water, food, fibre and nutrients.
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