This unique addition to reference literature provides an introduction to the major concepts and contemporary issues that are essential for students of environmental science and environmental studies to know. With over 200 entries authored by world-class names like Anthony Brazel, John Day and Edward Keller, this text is divided into six sections: Environmental Science, Environments, Paradigms & Concepts, Processes & Dynamics, Scales & Techniques, and Environmental Issues.  



Desertification may result from increased population pressures on land resources that stress crops and animals and may cause biodiversity loss, reduction in productive capacity, and loss of soil fertility (Fig. 76). In some areas, deserts are distinct from their surrounding less arid environments (e.g., mountains and other contrasting landforms). The margins of the desert represent a gradual transition from a dry to a more humid environment. These transition zones are heavily used by populations and may consist of sensitive ecosystems.

Figure 76 Processes leading to desertification and ways to abate it.

A common misconception is that drought – common in arid and semi-arid lands – causes desertification. It is the pressure on marginal lands, primarily due to increased populations and grazing of animals which has ...

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