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Mediterranean Desertification. A Mosaic of Processes and Responses

  • ID: 2182399
  • Book
  • August 2002
  • Region: Europe
  • 456 Pages
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
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Desertification is land degradation in arid and semi–arid regions from both climatic and anthropogenic causes. The Northern Mediterranean with its irregular rainfall, poor soils, abandonment of traditional agriculture and unsustainable water exploitation has been recognised as a region with increasing desertification problems.
The MEDALUS project was set up to improve the scientific basis for understanding and managing semi–arid environments that are undergoing great change. The material presented includes the results of interdisciplinary in–depth investigations undertaken over the last 10 years. It will provide a unique collection of research results that will assist rural planners, and regional and national authorities in preparing plans for mitigation. Includes:

Field based research carried out in the MEDALUS project
Authors with first hand research experience of their material
Results of direct applicability to land use management in Mediterranean environments
Detailed thematic and spatially–based analyses
Original material based on specific case studies
Of particular interest to geographers, ecologists, agronomists, rural planners, and all authorities on desertification problems in Mediterranean environments, from both scientific and land use management perspectives. A practical contribution to undergraduate and postgraduate university courses on the Mediterranean environment, and a useful reference source for secondary education.
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List of Contributors.



Section I;


The Evolving Context of Mediterranean Desertification (J.B. Thornes).

Section II;

Climate, Processes and Responses.

Extreme Climatic Events over the Mediterranean (M. Conte, et al.).

Potential Effects of Rising CO2 and Climatic Change on Mediterranean Vegetation (C.P. Osborne and F.I. Woodward).

Use of NOAA–AVHRR NDVI Data for Climatic Characterization of Mediterranean Areas (G. Cannizzaro, et al.).

Section III;

Land Use, Processes and Responses.

The Effect of Land Use on Soil Erosion and Land Degradation under Mediterranean Conditions (C. Kosmas, et al.).

Agro–pastoral Activities and Land Degradation in Mediterranean Areas: Case Study of Sardinia (G. Enne, et al.).

Landscape Protection from Grazing and Fire (N.S. Margaris and E. Koutsidou).

Bioengineering Principles and Desertification Mitigation (J.N. Quinton, et al.).

Section IV;

Physical Processes and Responses.

Differing Responses of Greek Mediterranean Plant Communities to Climate and the Combination of Grazing and Fire (A. Dalaka et al).

Vegetation Cover Assessment in Mediterranean Semi–arid Landscapes (F. Garcia–Haro, et al.).

The Impact of Rock Fragments on Soil Degradation and Water Conservation (B. van Wesemael, et al.).

Aridification in a Region Neighbouring the Mediterranean(A. Kertesz, et al.).

Soil Salinization in the Mediterranean: Soils, Processes and Implications (L. Postiglione).

Section V;

Tools for Exploring Desertification.

Environmentally Sensitive Areas in the MEDALUS Target Area Study Sites (A.C. Imeson and L.H. Cammeraat).

Investigation on Environmental Characteristics to Underpin the Selection of Desertification Indicators in the Guadalentin Basin (L.H. Cammeraat, et al.).

MEDRUSH: A Basin–scale Physically Based Model for Forecasting Runoff and Sediment Yield (M. Kirkby, et al.).


Section VI;

The Guadalentin Basin, South–east Spain.

Natural Resources in the Guadalentin Basin (South–east Spain): Water as a Key Factor (F. Lopez–Bermudez, et al.).

Local and Regional Responses to Global Climate Change in South–east Spain (C.M. Goodess and J.P. Palutikof).

The Impact of Land Abandonment on Regeneration of Semi–natural Vegetation: A Case Study from the Guadalentin (J.A. Obando).

Lithology and Vegetation Cover Mapping in the Guadalentin Basin as Interpreted through Remote Sensing Data (M.T. Younis, et al.).

Changing Social and Economical Conditions in a Region Undergoing Desertification in the Guadalentin (A. Romero Diaz, et al.).

Management Plan to Combat Desertification in the Guadalentin River Basin (L. Rojo Serrano, et al.).

Section VII;

The Agri Basin, Southern Italy.

General Description of the Agri Basin, Southern Italy (F. Basso, E. Bove and M. del Prete).

The Agri Valley –

Sustainable Agriculture in a Dry Environment: Crop Systems and Management (F. Basso, et al.).

Soil Erosion and Land Degradation (F. Basso, et al.).

Social and Economic Conditions of Development in the Agri Valley (E. Bove and G. Quaranta).

Characterisation of Soil Hydraulic Properties in a Desertification Context (A. Santini and N. Romano).

Aspects of Forestry in the Agri Environment (A. Ferrara, et al.).

Modelling Large Basin Hydrology and Sediment Yield with Sparse Data: The Agri Basin, Southern Italy (J.C. Bathurst, et al.).

Section VIII;


Emerging Mosaics (J.B. Thornes).


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N. A. Geeson
C. J. Brandt
J. B. Thornes
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