Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Michael J. Jenkins
Definitions of desertification have been numerous and the subject of hot debate. The definition proposed in 1991 by United Nations UNEP's Desertification Control/Programme Acting Centre (DC/PAC) was "land degradation in arid, semiarid and dry sub-humid areas resulting mainly from adverse human impact". This definition incorporates a number of processes which lead to the impoverishment of soils and vegetation, where human activity has been the main contributory factor. Examples include the loss of organic matter, increase in soil bulk density, decrease in infiltration, high levels of erosion, dunes formation, salinization, and compaction and displacement of top soil. The definition noted above acknowledges that adverse human impact is the primary cause of desertification, although such impact will be aggravated by the characteristics of dryland climates.
Bahddou, Youssef, "Land Degradation and Desertification in Arid and Semiarid Regions" (1996). All Graduate Plan B and other Reports. 1326.
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