Traversing the wasteland: A framework for assessing ecological threats to drylands

BioScience
By: , and 

Links

Abstract

Drylands cover 41% of the Earth's terrestrial surface, play a critical role in global ecosystem function, and are home to over two billion people. Like other biomes, drylands face increasing pressure from global change, but many of these ecosystems are close to tipping points, which, if crossed, can lead to abrupt transitions and persistent degraded states. Their limited but variable precipitation, low soil fertility, and low productivity have given rise to a perception that drylands are wastelands, needing societal intervention to bring value to them. Negative perceptions of drylands synergistically combine with conflicting sociocultural values regarding what constitutes a threat to these ecosystems. In the present article, we propose a framework for assessing threats to dryland ecosystems and suggest we must also combat the negative perceptions of drylands in order to preserve the ecosystem services that they offer.

Study Area

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Traversing the wasteland: A framework for assessing ecological threats to drylands
Series title BioScience
DOI 10.1093/biosci/biz126
Volume 70
Issue 1
Year Published 2020
Language English
Publisher Oxford Academic
Contributing office(s) Southwest Biological Science Center
Description 13 p.
First page 35
Last page 47
Country United States
State Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah
Other Geospatial Colorado Plateau
Google Analytics Metrics Metrics page
Additional publication details