B. van Wesemael
- Book title
- Combating Desertification and Land Degradation
- Book subtitle
- Spatial Strategies Using Vegetation
- Pages (from-to)
- Cham: Springer
- ISBN (electronic)
- SpringerBriefs in Environmental Science
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
- Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics (IBED)
This book explains the methods and results of a major research project, RECONDES, that was undertaken to develop strategies of effective use of vegetation to combat desertification and land degradation by water. The research approach combined understanding of the processes of erosion and land degradation with identification of suitable and effective plants and types of vegetation that could be used to decrease the intensity of soil erosion. The project uses the relatively new concept of physical connectivity of water and sediment in the landscape. The premise of the approach is that sediment connectivity can be reduced through the development of vegetation in the flow pathways, and that this approach is more sustainable than use of physical structures. It required research into the locations and characteristics of these pathways and into properties of suitable plants and species at a range of scales and land units. These components are combined to produce a spatial strategy of use of suitable plants at the most strategic points in the landscape, designed for restoration or mitigation of land degradation. Additional benefits of use of vegetation as a strategy of sustainable management are outlined. The methods and restoration strategy were developed in relation to the dryland environments of the Mediterranean region of southern Europe, involving field measurements, monitoring and modelling in the study area in Southeast Spain, the driest and most vulnerable region in Europe to desertification.
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