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Restoration and rehabilitation of degraded lands in arid, semi-arid and Mediterranean environments
Convener: Miriam Muñoz-Rojas  | Co-Conveners: Paloma Hueso González , Thomas Baumgartl , Cristina Branquinho , Artemi Cerdà 
 / Thu, 21 Apr, 13:00–17:00
 / Attendance Thu, 21 Apr, 17:30–19:00

Conveners: Miriam Muñoz-Rojas (University of Western Australia, Australia), Paloma Hueso-Gonzalez (University of Malaga, Spain)
Co-conveners: Thomas Baumgartl (University of Queensland, Australia), Cristina Branquinho (Centre of Environmental Biology, Faculty of Sciences of Lisbon University, Portugal), Artemi Cerda (University of Valencia, Spain).

Soil degradation affects more than 52 billion hectares of land around the world. This environmental problem might be particularly severe in arid, semi-arid and Mediterranean environments, where the effects of anthropogenic activities such as land abandonment, mining activities or deforestation can be compounded by the challenges of prolonged periods of drought and intense and irregular rainfall. Disturbance to the soil system can modify the ecosystem functions and services, and, in the absence of restoration, soils would remain in a degraded state or even continue to decline. Therefore, rehabilitation of degraded soils is critical to restore the ability of the soil to support vegetation and it is currently one the key issues in the fields of land rehabilitation and ecological restoration

In this session, we welcome contributions covering research conducted in this area describing experimental, observational, and theoretical studies. Topics of interest are (although not limited to): 1) Causes and impacts of land degradation and remedial actions for restoration at local, regional or global scales, 2) Soil quality or health indicators of ecosystem recovery (physicochemical or microbiological), 3) Use of amendments in restoration and reconstructed soils, and 4) Linkages between aboveground and belowground ecosystems in natural and restored ecosystems.

A special issue for the journal Land Degradation and Development (IF 3.1) linked to this session is being organized. Selected abstracts will be invited to submit a full paper.