Desertification has occurred worldwide. The biophysical and socio-economic complexity of this phenomenon has challenged our ability to categorize, inventory, monitor and repair the condition of degraded lands. One of the most important distinctions to be made in relation to land degradation is between cultivated land used for annual crop production and `rangelands'. Grazing by free-roaming livestock is the traditional primary use of the world's rangelands. However, there is growing recognition of the importance of these vast acreages for wildlife habitat, hydrology and ground water recharge, recreation and aesthetics.
This text focuses on the desertification of rangelands and explores processes, problems and solutions. Chapters in the first section evaluate interactions between `natural' and human-induced disturbance regimes, thresholds, and non-linear change with respect to vegetation, hydrology, nutrients and erosion. Chapters in the second section examine socio-economic constraints and approaches for preventing and reversing degradation.
The book provides a contemporary, process-oriented perspective on rangeland degradation of value to students, policy-makers and professionals alike.
an appeal for a broader perspective
Stress disturbance and change in rangeland ecosystems
Viewing rangelands as landscape systems
Hydrologic effects on rangeland degradation and restoration processes
use and misuse on rangelands
Desert rangelands degradation and nutrients
Assessing and monitoring desertification with soil indicators
Scaling up from field measurements to large areas using the Desertification Response Unit and Indicator Approaches
Agricultural and ecological perspectives of vegetation dynamics and desertification
The United Nations data bases on desertification
The implementation of soil conservation programmes
Policy and law for rangeland conservation
Rangelands issues and trends in developing countries
constraints to implementation in Eastern Africa
Africa Archer areas Arnalds assessment Australia biodiversity biomass biome Cammeraat Chihuahuan Desert climate Combat Desertification concept condition CSIRO database desert disturbance drought drylands dynamics ecological ecosystem effects Environment environmental erosion models feedbacks global grass grassland grazing Hoffman hydrologic Iceland IGAD Imeson implementation incentives indicators infiltration rate Kenya land degradation land management Landscape Ecology landscape function landscape system landusers livestock long-term Ludwig and Tongway ment monitoring Nama-karoo Native Vegetation natural nutrient Onchere pastoral pastoralists patches patterns plant problems processes production programmes rainfall Range Manage rangeland rangeland degradation rangeland desertification rangeland management region response unit restoration Restoration Ecology runoff savannas scale semi-arid shrubland shrubs Soil and Water soil conservation soil degradation soil erosion soil surface spatial species SRAP strategies stress Succulent Karoo sustainable Thurow tion Tongway and Hindley Tongway and Ludwig UNEP United Nations vegetation cover Vigdis Finnbogadottir volume Water Conservation woodlands