HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Scientists re-evaluating the meaning of 'desertification,' Duke ecologist says

rent factors causing desertification, Reynolds said. Another major factor is climate, especially drought. Critics add that not all changes have an immediate or direct impact on humans, and that how much each factor contributes to dry land deterioration is not clear.

"Over a hundred definitions of desertification have been proposed, each emphasizing unique issues," he added. "Desertification is complex because there are different factors involved. You can't look at any one thing by itself."

His book notes that a temporary loss of vegetation cover due to short term drought is "distinct from, and not necessarily related to" severe soil degradation and permanent vegetation loss that can result from longer lasting and more severe disturbances.

Written by 45 different authors, the book is the product of an international conference co-organized by Reynolds and Stafford Smith at the Free University of Berlin. Located in a part of Germany's capital known as Dahlem, the workshop brought together scientists from a diverse range of disciplines.

The authors accept the United Nations' view that desertification results from various factors, including natural and human activities. Their book, however, goes further than the U.N. by stressing that humans and natural impacts are always coupled.

"There are always human and environmental drivers," Reynolds asserted in his interview. "If you don't consider the human dimensions and the biophysical dimensions simultaneously, you're going to miss the boat."

Reynolds described a hypothetical dry land ranching family that starts out owning a modest-sized herd of cattle grazing in an area with good soil and grass cover. If a drought suddenly sets in, grass output may decrease enough to force that family to sell some cattle in order to pay its bills. If cattle prices then drop, the family goes further into debt.

If the drought becomes prolonged, or family members encounter additional an
'"/>

Contact: Monte Basgall
monte.basgall@duke.edu
919-681-8057
Duke University
6-Mar-2003


Page: 1 2 3 4

Related biology news :

1. Scientists to prototype cyberinfrastructure for research and education access to ocean observatories
2. Scientists sequence genome of kind of organism central to biospheres carbon cycle
3. Scientists find nanowires capable of detecting individual viruses
4. Scientists discover potential new way to control drug-resistant bacteria
5. Scientists explore genome of methane-breathing microbe
6. Scientists decipher genetic code of biothreat pathogen
7. Stuck on you: Scientists lay bare secrets of bacterial attachment proteins
8. Scientists discover proteins involved in spread of HIV-1 infection
9. Scientists fear new Ebola outbreak may explain sudden gorilla disappearance
10. Scientists reinvent DNA as template to produce organic molecules
11. Scientists visualise cellular handmaiden that restores shape to proteins

Post Your Comments:
(Date:4/17/2014)... German . Our ... provide us with a continuous stream of information about our ... still in a car the world glides by us ... without effort, our brain calculates self-motion from this "optic flow". ... steady gaze during our own movements. Together with biologists from ...
(Date:4/17/2014)... German . If ... of him, he can expect his premises to be trashed. ... the consequences is enough to make restaurant owners pay up. ... their eggs in other birds, nests. If the host birds ... revenge by destroying the entire nest. Consequently, it is beneficial ...
(Date:4/17/2014)... painted a stark warning on the possible effects of ... effect 32 times that of carbon dioxide. Now a ... act as fully regenerable electron acceptors which helps explain ... instead of being released to the atmosphere. However, there ... may enter into a vicious cycle to release large ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):How vision makes sure that little fish do not get carried away 2How vision makes sure that little fish do not get carried away 3How vision makes sure that little fish do not get carried away 4Fear of the cuckoo mafia 2Fear of the cuckoo mafia 3Methane climate change risk suggested by proof of redox cycling of humic substances 2
(Date:1/15/2014)... AudioNotch is the internet's leading provider ... treatment of tinnitus. Patients listen to sound therapy that ... period of weeks to months, their tinnitus volume decreases. , ... Notched Music and Notched White Noise. Now, AudioNotch is pleased ...
(Date:1/14/2014)... 2014  3D Communications, a leading provider of strategic communications services to ... events in the United States and ... Cox , JD, is returning to the firm,s Washington, ... 3D after more than two years of service as Associate Commissioner ...
(Date:1/14/2014)... January 14, 2014 iLab Solutions, the leader ... the new Director of Product Strategy. In this role, Michelle ... iLab sub-teams to guide in the development of iLab products. ... the maximum possible benefit to the scientific community by offering ...
(Date:1/14/2014)... 13, 2014 Bob Hainsey, a semiconductor ... 20 years in the industry, has joined SPIE, ... will serve as the society’s Science and Technology Strategist. ... SPIE as our Technology Strategist, further strengthening the technical ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Former FDA Associate Commissioner Returns To 3D Communications 2iLab Solutions Announces Michelle Detwiler as the New Director of Product Strategy 2Photonics R&D Leader Bob Hainsey Joins SPIE Technical Staff 2
Cached News: