The Role of Soil Information in Land Degradation and Desertification Mapping: A Review

  • Claudio ZuccaEmail author
  • Riccardo Biancalani
  • Selim Kapur
  • Erhan Akça
  • Pandi Zdruli
  • Luca Montanarella
  • Freddy Nachtergaele
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Environment, Security, Development and Peace book series (BRIEFSSECUR, volume 8)


Mapping land degradation and desertification (LDD) has generally been considered as a complex task, and past efforts have produced contrasting results. Until recently, this exercise has often been seen as a soil scientist’s task by the international community. However, the actual role and “weight” of soil information in LDD mapping at different spatial scales has been influenced and constrained by the changing conceptual frameworks and data availability. This chapter reviews these aspects and discusses the most recent developments. Starting from the evolving definitions of land degradation and desertification, it describes the use made of soil information by past global mapping initiatives. It presents the related past and new conceptual frameworks, and describes the approaches adopted by the most relevant ongoing international initiatives such as LADA and WAD. Finally, it highlights the existing constraints and limitations and provides recommendations on gaps and needs in terms of soil-related knowledge and data.


LDD Desertification Land degradation mapping Soil status indicators Soil data 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claudio Zucca
    • 1
    Email author
  • Riccardo Biancalani
    • 2
  • Selim Kapur
    • 3
  • Erhan Akça
    • 4
  • Pandi Zdruli
    • 5
  • Luca Montanarella
    • 6
  • Freddy Nachtergaele
    • 2
  1. 1.Dipartimento Di AgrariaUniversity of SassariSassariItaly
  2. 2.FAOViale delle Terme di CaracallaItaly
  3. 3.Department of Soil Science and ArchaeometryUniversity of ÇukurovaAdanaTurkey
  4. 4.Technical ProgrammesAdıyaman UniversityAdıyamanTurkey
  5. 5.International Centre for Advanced Mediterranean Agronomic StudiesMediterranean Agronomic Institute of Bari (CIHEAM IAMB)BariItaly
  6. 6.European CommissionDG JRCIspraItaly

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