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Desertification of rangelands: 4.20

January 1, 2013

Desertification, the broad-scale conversion of perennial grasslands to dominance by annuals or xerophytic shrubs, has affected drylands globally over the past several centuries. Desertification is a cumulative threat that includes both climatic (e.g., drought) and land-use drivers (e.g., livestock overgrazing, fire). In this chapter, we determine the vulnerability of different ecosystem services to changes in drivers and ecosystem states, with a focus on the American Southwest. We have four objectives: (1) to describe key services in drylands, (2) to identify consequences of desertification to each service, (3) to explore the vulnerability of each service to future state-changes if existing threats intensify and new threats emerge, and (4) to determine threats expected to have the greatest future impact, and to provide potential actions for mitigation. We conclude with recommendations.

Publication Year 2013
Title Desertification of rangelands: 4.20
DOI 10.1016/B978-0-12-384703-4.00426-3
Authors D. P. C. Peters, B. T. Bestelmeyer, K. M. Havstad, A. Rango, S. R. Archer, A. C. Comrie, H. R. Gimblett, L. López-Hoffman, O. E. Sala, E. R. Vivoni, M. L. Brooks, J. Brown, H. C. Monger, J. H. Goldstein
Publication Type Book Chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Index ID 70123985
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Western Ecological Research Center