SSS2.7Soil erosion and desertification processes in Mediterranean areas
|Convener: Antonio Jordán | Co-Conveners: Luis Parras-Alcántara , Lorena M. Zavala , Paulo Pereira , María Fernández Raga , Jean Poesen , Emilia Urbanek , Rossano Ciampalini|
Areas with Mediterranean type of climate (Mediterranean basin, Cape Region in Africa, South-western Australia and Eastern coasts of North and South America) show a diversity of soils and landscapes. Mediterranean areas are characterized by the alternation of a humid-cool and a hot-dry season. Consequently, soils are generally fragile, because of exposition to heavy storms, drought periods, high temperatures, low plant cover, and, often, steep slopes. In addition, some of these areas (as the Mediterranean basin) show a history of intense use and management of soils for millennia, which has led to severe erosion and desertification processes.
In many parts of Mediterranean areas, soil erosion processes have reached an irreversible stage due to human-induced degradation. Some of the causes of soil erosion in Mediterranean areas are inappropriate agricultural management, deforestation, agriculture and land use changes. The analysis of vulnerable areas, the identification of causes of soil erosion processes or the development and testing of new approaches is helpful for improving our knowledge about the extent of areas affected and for developing measures to keep soil erosion under control whenever possible.
Contributions dealing with mapping and modelling soil erosion processes at different scales, analysis of soil erosion rates, identification of causes leading to accelerated soil erosion (land use change, land abandonment, conflicts, migrations and demographic pressure, land use policy, etc.), the increase of risks (flooding, landslides or wildfires) and studies of soil erosion impacts on soil fertility, agriculture and food production or ecosystems are welcome.