Patterns of Land Degradation in Drylands

Understanding Self-Organised Ecogeomorphic Systems

  • Eva Nora Mueller
  • John Wainwright
  • Anthony J. Parsons
  • Laura Turnbull

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Eva Nora Mueller, John Wainwright, Anthony J. Parsons, Laura Turnbull
    Pages 1-9
  3. Theory: Linking Process to Pattern

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 11-11
    2. Tamara Hochstrasser, James D. A. Millington, Vasilios P. Papanastasis, Anthony J. Parsons, Pier Paolo Roggero, Richard E. Brazier et al.
      Pages 13-54
    3. Florian Jeltsch, Laura Turnbull, Stefania Scarsoglio, Concepcion L. Alados, Francesc Gallart, Eva Nora Mueller et al.
      Pages 55-84
    4. Nicolas Barbier, Juan Bellot, Pierre Couteron, Anthony J. Parsons, Eva Nora Mueller
      Pages 85-101
    5. Artemi Cerdà, Francesc Gallart, Junran Li, Vasilios P. Papanastasis, Robert R. Parmenter, Laura Turnbull et al.
      Pages 103-139
    6. Kelly K. Caylor, Greg S. Okin, Laura Turnbull, John Wainwright, Thorsten Wiegand, Trenton E. Franz et al.
      Pages 141-167
  4. Methods for Confronting Models with Data

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 169-169
    2. Laura Turnbull, Tamara Hochstrasser, Mareike Wieczorek, Andreas Baas, John Wainwright, Stefania Scarsoglio et al.
      Pages 171-209
    3. Pierre Couteron, Philip Hunke, Juan Bellot, Joan Estrany, Núria Martínez-Carreras, Eva Nora Mueller et al.
      Pages 211-245
    4. Nicolas Barbier, Juan Bellot, Pierre Couteron, Thorsten Wiegand, Volker Grimm, Vincent Deblauwe et al.
      Pages 247-264
    5. Richard E. Brazier, Tobias Krueger, John Wainwright
      Pages 265-285
  5. Case Studies

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 287-287
    2. Laura Turnbull, John Wainwright, Sujith Ravi
      Pages 289-313
    3. Nicolas Barbier, Pierre Couteron, Vincent Deblauwe
      Pages 347-356
    4. Eva Nora Mueller, John Wainwright, Anthony J. Parsons, Laura Turnbull, James D. A. Millington, Vasilios P. Papanastasis
      Pages 367-383
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 385-389

About this book


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.


Desertification Ecogeomorphology Integrated modelling Land degradation Self-organising systems

Editors and affiliations

  • Eva Nora Mueller
    • 1
  • John Wainwright
    • 2
  • Anthony J. Parsons
    • 3
  • Laura Turnbull
    • 4
  1. 1.Institute of Earth and Environmental ScienceUniversity of PotsdamPotsdamGermany
  2. 2.Department of GeographyUniversity of DurhamDurhamUnited Kingdom
  3. 3.Sheffield Centre for International Drylands ResearchUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUnited Kingdom
  4. 4.Department of Geography Science LaboratoriesDurham University Inst. of Hazards, Risk and ResiliencDurhamUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information