Aralkum - a Man-Made Desert

The Desiccated Floor of the Aral Sea (Central Asia)

  • Siegmar-W. Breckle
  • Walter Wucherer
  • Liliya A. Dimeyeva
  • Nathalia P. Ogar

Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 218)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxiii
  2. Abiotic Conditions and Dynamics

  3. Biotic Aspects and Ecosystems Dynamics

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 107-107
    2. L. A. Dimeyeva, S-W. Breckle, W. Wucherer
      Pages 109-126
    3. S-W. Breckle, W. Wucherer, L. A. Dimeyeva
      Pages 127-159
    4. W. Wucherer, S-W. Breckle, A. Buras
      Pages 161-198
    5. U. Joger, T. Dujsebayeva, O. V. Belyalov, Y. Chikin, D. Guicking, Y. A. Grachev et al.
      Pages 199-269
    6. S-W. Breckle, W. Wucherer
      Pages 271-299
  4. Means of Present and Future Development

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 313-313
    2. L. A. Dimeyeva, N. P. Ogar, Z. Alimbetova, S. W. Breckle
      Pages 315-341
    3. W. Wucherer, S-W. Breckle, V. S. Kaverin, L. A. Dimeyeva, K. Zhamantikov
      Pages 343-386
    4. Z. B. Novitskiy
      Pages 387-406
  5. Conclusions

  6. Back Matter
    Pages 465-486

About this book


Having been the fourth largest lake on the globe roughly 50 years ago, today the Aral Sea no longer exists. Human activities caused its desiccation and the formation of a huge new desert, the Aralkum, which can be regarded as one of the greatest ecological catastrophes and - at the same time - the largest primary succession experiment of mankind.

This volume brings together the results of international and interdisciplinary long-term studies on the new desert ecosystem and is divided into four main sections. The first section provides an overview of the physical characteristics of the area and covers geological, pedological, geomorphological and climatological aspects and their dynamics, especially dust-storm dynamics. The second focuses on the biotic aspects and highlights the spatial and temporal patterns of the flora and fauna. In the third section studies and projects aiming to combat desertification by phytomelioration and to develop strategies for the conservation of biodiversity are presented. The book is rounded off with a section providing a synthesis and conclusions.


Aral Sea desert desiccated sea floor halophytes phytomelioration plant succession psammophytes salt dust storms

Editors and affiliations

  • Siegmar-W. Breckle
    • 1
  • Walter Wucherer
    • 2
  • Liliya A. Dimeyeva
    • 3
  • Nathalia P. Ogar
    • 4
  1. 1.Fakultät für Biologie, Abteilung 3 - ÖkologieUniversität BielefeldBielefeldGermany
  2. 2.Michael Succow FoundationUniversity of GreifswaldGreifswaldGermany
  3. 3.Institute of Botany and PhytointroductioAlmatyKazakhstan
  4. 4.CRS@GIS „Terra“AlmatyKazakhstan

Bibliographic information