Shelterbelts in southern Russia help protect crops from wind • Earth.com

Last update: June 1st, 2020 at 3:07 pm

Today’s Image of the Day comes thanks to the NASA Earth Observatory and features a look at a row of shelterbelts lined across the steppes of southern Russia. The photo was taken by an astronaut aboard the International Space Station looking down on an area near the Volga River.

Shelterbelts, also known as windbreaks, are long rows of trees planted strategically to protect sensitive crops and soil from wind erosion. This particular shelterbelt system measures roughly 14 kilometers, breaking only to accommodate a local stream.

The construction of shelterbelt systems began in the 1700s, not long after Russian farmers began settling the open steppe. Studies have shown that the soil protected by shelterbelts have significantly improved and contain much richer organic carbon levels.

By Rory Arnold, Earth.com Staff Writer

Source: NASA Earth Observatory

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