Table of contents
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.