“THE TOTAL OF ARRANGEMENTS, ACTIVITIES, AND INPUTS THAT PEOPLE UNDERTAKE IN A CERTAIN LAND COVER TYPE”
Land use involves the management and modification of natural environment or wilderness into built environment such as settlements and semi-natural habitats such as arable fields, pastures, and managed woods.
Land use and land management practices have a major impact on natural resources including water, soil, flora and fauna. Land use information can be used to sortout natural resource management and issues related to it such as salinity and water quality. For instance, water bodies in a region that has been deforested or having erosion will have different water quality than those in areas that are forested. Forest gardening, a plant-based food production system, is believed to be the oldest form of land use in the world. The major effect of land use on land cover since 1750 has been deforestation of temperate regions. More recent significant effects of land use include urban sprawl, soil erosion, soil degradation, salinization, and desertification. Land-use change, together with use of fossil fuels, are the major anthropogenic sources of carbon dioxide, a dominant greenhouse gas.