Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 562388
Title Vegetation and soil degradation in drylands: Non linear feedbacks and early warning signals
Author(s) Saco, Patricia M.; Moreno-de las Heras, Mariano; Keesstra, Saskia; Baartman, Jantiene; Yetemen, Omer; Rodríguez, José F.
Source Current Opinion in Environmental Science and Health 5 (2018). - p. 67 - 72.
Department(s) Soil, Water and Land Use
Soil Physics and Land Management
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2018
Keyword(s) Desertification - Drylands - Early warning - Thresholds - Vegetation patterns

Anthropogenic activities and climate change are imposing an unprecedented pressure on drylands, increasing their vulnerability to desertification. The spatial organization of the sparse vegetation cover is fundamental for the healthy function of the system, and disturbances can trigger cascading feedbacks leading to catastrophic system collapse. Here we discuss some of the latest research aiming at understanding abrupt landscape transitions and possible non-reversible changes, as well as emerging research on the identification of early warning indicators of abrupt transitions to desert states. Robust indicators should take into account temporal system dynamics characteristics, vegetation organization/patch size distribution, functional connectivity measures and human intervention effects.

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