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Environmental Sciences - Soil Science | Patterns of Land Degradation in Drylands - Understanding Self-Organised Ecogeomorphic Systems

Patterns of Land Degradation in Drylands

Understanding Self-Organised Ecogeomorphic Systems

Mueller, E.N., Wainwright, J., Parsons, A.J., Turnbull, L. (Eds.)

2014, XI, 389 p. 100 illus., 57 illus. in color.

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  • Multidisciplinary approach, bringing together expertise from a range of backgrounds
  • Addresses a problem faced by 2 billion people worldwide
  • At the forefront of understanding the science of land degradation in drylands
  • The first book on ecogeomorphology of drylands

Land degradation in drylands is a multi-faceted problem. Consequently, current management approaches that attempt to mitigate such land degradation often fail to produce significant improvements. The processes associated with land degradation in drylands fall at the interface of ecology and geomorphology. For a better understanding of this degradation, there is a need to uncover the underlying dynamics and characteristic responses to environmental drivers and human-induced disturbances. A primary characteristic of this land degradation is a change in processes and the emergence of patterns; but there remain many unknowns as to how these changing processes and emerging patterns are connected. In the first section of this keystone manual, the theory of ecogeomorphic pattern-process linkages is explored, establishing an integrated view of current concepts of pattern emergence and self-organization from an ecogeomorphic perspective.  The second section of the book explores methods for confronting models with data for the study of pattern-process linkages, bringing together divergent empirical and modelling methodologies to provide a fully integrated understanding of land degradation in drylands. Four case studies from drylands in Europe, Africa, Australia and North America outline the advances in ecogeomorphic research that have been made in these systems. Learning from this diverse range of studies and approaches, a research agenda for the emerging field of ecogeomorphology in land-degradation studies in drylands is set forth.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Desertification - Ecogeomorphology - Integrated modelling - Land degradation - Self-organising systems

Related subjects » Soil Science

Table of contents 


1. Land Degradation in Drylands: An Ecogeomorphological Approach

2. The Study of Land Degradation in Drylands: State of the Art

3. Resilience, Self-organization, Complexity and Pattern Formation

4. Short-range Ecogeomorphic Processes in Dryland Systems

5. Long-range Ecogeomorphic Processes

6. Integrating Short- and Long-range Processes into Models: the Emergence of Pattern

7. Approaches to Modelling Ecogeomorphic Systems

8. Characterizing Patterns

9. Assessment of Patterns in Ecogeomorphic Systems

10. Uncertainty assessment

11. Vegetation Change in the Southwestern USA: Patterns and Processes

12. Vegetation Mosaics of Arid Western New South Wales, Australia: Considerations of Their Origin and Persistence

13.  Case Study of Self-organized Vegetation Patterning in Dryland Regions of Central Africa

14.  Abandonment of Agricultural Land, Agricultural Policy and Land Degradation in Mediterranean Europe

15. Land Degradation in Drylands: Reёvaluating Pattern-process Interrelationships and the Role of Ecogeomorphology


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Distribution rights for India: Delhi Book Store, New Delhi, India

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