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Coevolution of soils, landforms and vegetation: patterns, feedbacks and ecosystem stability thresholds (co-organized)
Convener: Mariano Moreno de las Heras  | Co-Conveners: Jantiene Baartman , Jose Rodriguez , Patricia Saco 
 / Thu, 12 Apr, 08:30–10:00
 / Attendance Thu, 12 Apr, 17:30–19:00

Spatial patterns of vegetation, soils and landforms are recognized as sources of valuable information that can be used to infer the state and function of ecosystems. Complex interactions and feedbacks between climate, soils and biotic factors are involved in the development of soil-vegetation patterns, and play an important role in making ecosystems resilient to disturbances. In addition, large shifts in the organization of vegetation and soils are associated with land degradation, frequently involving thresholds of ecosystem stability and nonlinear responses to both human and climatic pressures. The present context of changes in both climate and land use imposes an urgent need for understanding the processes linked to the organization of vegetation and coevolving soils and landforms. This session will focus on ecogeomorphological and ecohydrological aspects of landscapes, conservation of soil resources, and the restoration of ecosystem functions. We welcome theoretical, modelling and empirical studies addressing the organization of vegetation and coevolving soils and landforms, and particularly, contributions with a wide appreciation of the soil erosion-vegetation relationships that rule the formation of landscape-level spatial patterns. We also welcome studies describing the implications of these spatial patterns of soils and vegetation for the resilience and stability of ecosystems under the pressure of climate change and/or human disturbances.

We are proud to announce that Prof. Ehud Meron (Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research & Physics Department, Ben-Gurion University, Israel) has agreed to participate in the session with the invited, keynote talk "Namibian and Australian fairy circles showcase basic principles of pattern-formation theory".