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Environmental Management: Drylands

  • By: Thomas A. Smucker
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Dryland environmental management systems comprise the individual and collective strategies used by resource users to preserve the biological productivity and the economic and social benefits derived from dryland environments. Approaches to managing dryland environments are as diverse as the environmental and social factors that shape human use and management of dryland resources. Drylands encompass a gradient of moisture-deficient zones that span the world's hyperarid, arid, semiarid, and dry subhumid areas. Ecological patterns within drylands exhibit considerable diversity, incorporating woodlands, grasslands, scrublands, and deserts. This diverse ecology supports a range of human livelihood systems, including dryland farming, pastoralism, extractive activities, and large-scale urban settlement. Because dryland resources support the livelihoods of a disproportionate number of people living in extreme poverty as well as growing populations in ...

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