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Arid and Semiarid Rangelands of Argentina

  • C. A. BussoEmail author
  • Osvaldo A. Fernández
Chapter

Abstract

Two thirds of continental Argentina are arid and semiarid rangelands. These rangelands include five phytogeographic regions: (1) Puna, (2) Chaco Occidental, (3) Monte, (4) Caldenal, and (5) Patagonia. This review includes and begins with a brief overview of the climate, soil, and vegetation characteristics of each region. After that, the major causes of degradation or desertification of these territories are indicated, together with the previous and current impacts on the water resources; the physicochemical and biological soil characteristics, and vegetation structure; productive activities; economy; and society. Fortunately, in contrast with various other arid and semiarid regions in the world, a threshold of losses of renewable natural resources has not yet been reached as a result of such degradation or desertification of the study ecological systems. Beyond this threshold, reestablishment of benefits which could have been obtained from rational (not abusive) utilization of those resources will be impossible. Our aim is an improved land use that allows sustainable production, the magnitude of which will depend upon its previous degree of degradation or desertification.

Keywords

Pampas Climate change Sustainability Encroachment Andes Threshold Desertification Chaparral Woody plants Livestock 

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento de Agronomía-CERZOS (National Council for Scientific and Technological Research of Argentina: CONICET)Universidad Nacional del SurBahía BlancaArgentina

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