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
Duke University

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:10/12/2015)... Hoyos Labs , ... will introduce its new biometric four-finger (4F) ... providing an unprecedented level of security / ... new biometric standard for secure transactions (BOPS). ... financial services to healthcare are implementing Hoyos, ...
(Date:10/8/2015)... 8. Oktober 2015 Die Track ... Unternehmen des Bereiches Tracking, hat heute bekannt ... Gefängnisbehörde Virginias (Department of Corrections – DOC) ... für alle Strafen geliefert werden, die der ... Präsident für den Amerikanischen Kontinent der Track ...
(Date:10/6/2015)... MATEO, Calif. , Oct. 6, 2015 /PRNewswire/ ... company, today announced enhancements to its software portfolio ... expression analysis kit for differential expression in eukaryotes. ... Platform, which is a cloud-based genomic analysis solution ... advance scientific discovery from next-generation sequencing efforts. ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2015)... cell surface marker detection market ... to a new report by Grand View Research, Inc. This ... of oncology diseases and other cell-associated disorders. --> ... USD 6.49 billion by 2022, according to a new report ... be attributed to rise in incidence of oncology diseases and ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris Inc. (NASDAQ:  AEZS) (TSX: AEZ) ... and commercializing novel treatments in oncology, endocrinology and women,s ... , the Company,s former Senior Vice President, Chief Financial ... Quebec City office.  David ... of the Company commented, "After a comprehensive review, the ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... -- LabStyle Innovations Corp. (OTCQB: DRIO), ... its Medical Director, Dr. Moshe Kamar , will ... EAI International Conference on Wireless Mobile Communication and Healthcare ... and wireless technologies," the conference will take place in ... - 16, 2015. The conference is endorsed and organized ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... , Oct. 12, 2015 VolitionRx Limited ... completed clinical study of its NuQ ® blood-based test ... online issue of Clinical Epigenetics , the official journal ... in collaboration with Lund University, ... , MD, PhD, Professor of Surgery and Vice-Dean, Faculty of ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: