A compendium of current information on arid soils. Provides a comprehensive background of the various soils and biota of arid regions, as well as a detailed account of the current understanding of degradation processes, and includes methodologies for arid land maintenance and rehabilitation and for
This book deals with arid and semi-arid environments and their classification, and the physiological restraints and adaptations of plants to the environment. Further, it discusses economic botany and the needs and methods of conserving economic plants. A broad view is taken regarding the definition of economic plants, taking into account their value to the environment as well as to man and to livestock. The individual deserts and associated semi-arid regions are described in separate chapters, providing background information on the regional environments in terms of climate and major plant formations. The economic plants within these formations, their usages, geographical distribution together with their morphological and physiological adaptations are treated in detail.
Remote sensing is the study of a region from a distance, particularly from an airplane or a spacecraft. It is a tool that can be used in conjunction with other methods of research and investigation. This tool is especially applicable to the study of the deserts and arid lands of the Earth because of their immense size and their inaccessibility to detailed study by conventional means. In this book examples are given of the utility of aerial photographs and space images in the study of semi-arid, arid, and hyper-arid terrains. Emphasis is placed on the physical features and terrain types using examples from around the world. The authors I have called upon to prepare each chapter are renowned specialists whose contributions have received international recognition. To the general reader, this book is a review of our knowledge of the relatively dry parts of the Earth, their classification and varied features, their evolution in space and time, and their development potentials. To the specialist, it is a detailed account of the deserts and arid lands, not only in North America, but also their relatively unknown counterparts in North Africa, Australia, China, India, and Arabia.
* Full Atlas of Australia at 1:1,000,000* The most comprehensive guide to Australia's Dry Lands* Unique in-depth guides to geology, biology, habitats and human history* More than 400 photos* 33 treks and deserts covered in detail* Clearest and best detailed mapping available* Comprehensive guides to Plants and Animals* Bibliography & comprehensive check lists for planning* Important Contacts
Extensive regions of the world have a climate which, whilst permitting development of a continuous vegetative cover, is too dry for successful annual cropping. These are the semi-arid areas where land use is based on the natural vegetation. Easily degraded and difficult to maintain, they are under increasing pressure as expanding human populations move in and endeavour to force a living from them. As a result they contain some of the worst examples of resource degradation. This book examines the problems and opportunities involved in man's use of semi-arid areas. The authors are all actively involved in research and land management in the areas discussed. Each chapter begins with a detailed, up-to-date account of the ecology of the region (its climate, soils, vegetation, fauna and main ecological characteristics). This is followed by a history of land use, problems involved in its management, a review of current research and recommended land use practices. The common features of semi-arid ecosystems are brought together in a final section.
Plant Resources of Arid and Semiarid Lands: A Global Perspective is a collection of papers that evaluates the existing native plant resources in the arid and semiarid regions. The papers deal with the resources found in these arid regions such as food potential, forage, fuel, fiber, medicinal or industrial uses. The book covers the arid regions of Africa, Australia, the Indian subcontinent, Middle East, North America, China, South America, and the USSR. The treatment of these regions includes geographical descriptions such as area, annual precipitation, temperature, humidity, wind ranges or patterns, and seasons. These papers also discuss the effects of topography on water drainage and loss, the basic soil types, holding capacity, water runoffs, and the availability of water (surface and subsurface), The book examines the current and projected growth rates for relevant countries and dry regions in each continent. These papers discuss the economic output from arid lands, the balance of trade, current or developing resources, as well as the prospects of these countries with dry regions. The book also focuses on the types of plants found in these regions whether these are used for food, forage, medicine or for industry. This collection is suitable for environmentalists, ecologists, sociologist, anthropologists, and researchers involved in biological and environmental conservation.
Encyclopedia of Deserts represents a milestone: it is the first comprehensive reference to the first comprehensive reference to deserts and semideserts of the world. Approximately seven hundred entries treat subjects ranging from desert survival to the way deserts are formed. Topics include biology (birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fishes, invertebrates, plants, bacteria, physiology, evolution), geography, climatology, geology, hydrology, anthropology, and history. The thirty-seven contributors, including volume editor Michael A. Mares, have had extensive careers in deserts research, encompassing all of the world’s arid and semiarid regions. The Encyclopedia opens with a subject list by topic, an organizational guide that helps the reader grasp interrelationships and complexities in desert systems. Each entry concludes with cross-references to other entries in the volume, inviting the reader to embark on a personal expedition into fascinating, previously unknown terrain. In addition a list of important readings facilitates in-depth study of each topic. An exhaustive index permits quick access to places, topics, and taxonomic listings of all plants and animals discussed. More than one hundred photographs, drawings, and maps enhance our appreciation of the remarkable life, landforms, history, and challenges of the world’s arid land.
The hot and temperate deserts and their marginal steppe lands comprise one-third of the land surface of the world and are an increasingly critical area for the economic wellbeing of world populations. The remarkable mechanisms of floral, faunal, and human adaptation to the distinct and difficult environment of these arid zones, as well as the potential of modern technology for facilitating adaptation, are described and explained by Walton in the light of our most recent knowledge of the phenomena and processes involved. Beginning with a clarification of the definitions of arid and semi-arid regions and with the delineation of techniques for measuring the degree of aridity in these areas, the author shows that there is wide variation among the arid zones in landscape and climate and that there are numerous local and microclimates within any single arid region. The life cycles of the plants and animals of the arid zones are described and the water resources, including problems of salinity, mineral contamination, and the construction of reservoirs, are examined. Extensive treatment is given to potential agricultural adaptations and to pastoralism as the most widespread response to dry land. A final chapter summarizes attempts at adaptation to prevailing drought and discusses the kinds of future development that the author deems most likely in arid zones. Throughout the book emphasis is placed on specific, detailed analysis, with adequate tables and formulas for in-depth understanding of particular aspects of aridity. Examples from both Old and New Worlds are used to demonstrate the spheres in which progress is being made and to show the mistakes in past and present land use in arid areas. An essential supplement for courses in physical geography, the book will be useful in many area studies and in studies of economic development. Kenneth Walton was professor of geography at the University of Aberdeen. He was educated at the University of Edinburgh where he received an M.A. and Ph.D. in Geography and First Class Certificates in Geology and Social Anthropology. Walton has published widely and is the editor of Map Making and Map Interpretation and Field Studies.
Changing desert areas for land use implies a lot of ecological problems. These and related ones are dealt with in this book covering various interdisciplinary and international aspects. Large areas in arid and semi-arid regions are already polluted in various ways. One of the biggest problems is the anthropogenic salinization by inadequate means of agriculture and irrigation. Additionally, most arid areas in the world are dramatically overgrazed. Methods and practices of a sustainable land use in deserts are urgently needed in many arid regions. This book gives a broad survey on some of the affected regions of the world as well as some case studies from elsewhere (Aral Sea, Negev desert, Namib desert etc.). Thus, basic and applied sciences are brought together. Water management in deserts, grazing systems or reclamation of desertified areas are among the topics of this book, as well as social and economic aspects.
This book highlights the aeolian processes in the desert zone of Kazakhstan and Central Asian Deserts, and analyzes the current status of dust and sand storms in Central Asia and Kazakhstan. It also highlights the analyses, dynamics and long-term observations of storms on the basis of numerous cartographic materials and satellite images. Dust/sand storms are a common and important phenomenon in the arid and semi-arid regions of Kazakhstan and Central Asia as well,especially in its southern parts, where areas are covered by a great variety of deserts and offer a significant source of mineral and salt aerosols. The deserts of Kazakhstan mostly cover lowlands and extend from the eastern coast of the Caspian Sea to the piedmonts of the Tien-Shan Mountain. In Kazakhstan and Central Asia desertification processes due to wind erosion in the form of dust/sand storms were observed in semi-desert and desert landscapes.