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Commission Européenne (CORDIS) 2013

VEGDESERT : Vegetation shifts in desert environments : a multi-scale ecogeomorphic approach for the analysis of grassland-shrubland transitions

Dryland

CORDIS (Service Communautaire d’Information sur la Recherche et le Développement) Commission Européenne

Titre : VEGDESERT : Vegetation shifts in desert environments : a multi-scale ecogeomorphic approach for the analysis of grassland-shrubland transitions

Région : Dryland

Code du projet : 329298 FP7-PEOPLE

Durée : 2013-07-16 to 2015-07-15

Descriptif
Climate change and the massive alteration of natural habitats are major drivers of land degradation. Their effects may be especially significant in drylands, where ecosystems are particularly sensitive to degradation, usually involving irreversible landscape changes (i.e. desertification). A common form of desertification in drylands includes the encroachment of shrub species into historic productive desert grasslands. An array of mechanisms are involved in shrub encroachment processes, including external triggering factors such as climate and land-use variations, and endogenous amplifying mechanisms brought about by soil erosion-vegetation feedbacks. Within this context, the present mobility project will investigate grassland-shrubland transitions in desert environments.
The ambitious objective of this project is to develop an ecogeomorphic framework for the analysis and prediction of rapid vegetation shifts in semi-arid grasslands threatened by shrub encroachment processes. The project will be hosted by Durham University (UK) and will focus on grassland-shrubland transitions in the Chihuahuan desert, taking advantage of the information and facilities available at the Sevilleta Long Term Ecological Research Station (New Mexico, USA). The influence of a variety of triggering factors (i.e. precipitation variations and grazing) and the impact of soil erosion-vegetation amplifying feedbacks on these vegetation changes will be studied using an innovative approach that will integrate both remote sensing information of vegetation phenology and experimental data across different scales ; with ecogeomorphic modelling and robust model testing against existing data sets. The results of this project will contribute to the understanding of the processes that regulate the dramatic changes that are taking place in arid and semiarid landscapes worldwide, and will provide practical tools for the management of dryland landscapes threatened by desertification

Participants au projet
Coordinateur : UNIVERSITY OF DURHAM (United Kingdom)

Budget
Coût total : EUR 231 283,2
Contribution UE : EUR 231 283,2

Présentation : Commission Européenne

Page publiée le 4 septembre 2015, mise à jour le 21 novembre 2017