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The dual role of soil crusts in desertification
Year:
2015
Authors :
Assouline, Shmuel
;
.
Volume :
120
Co-Authors:
Assouline, S., Institute of Soil, Water and Environmental Sciences, A.R.O., Volcani Center, Bet Dagan, Israel
Thompson, S.E., Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA, United States
Chen, L., Division of Hydrologic Sciences, Desert Research Institute, Las Vegas, NV, United States
Svoray, T., Geography and Environmental Development, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel
Sela, S., Geography and Environmental Development, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel
Katul, G.G., Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, Durham, NC, United States, Pratt School of Engineering, Duke University, Durham, NC, United States
Facilitators :
From page:
2108
To page:
2119
(
Total pages:
12
)
Abstract:
Vegetation cover in dry regions is a key variable in determining desertification. Soils exposed to rainfall by desertification can form physical crusts that reduce infiltration, exacerbating water stress on the remaining vegetation. Paradoxically, field studies show that crust removal is associated with plant mortality in desert systems, while artificial biological crusts can improve plant regeneration. Here it is shown how physical crusts can act as either drivers of or buffers against desertification depending on their environmental context. The behavior of crusts is first explored using a simplified theory for water movement on a uniform, partly vegetated slope subject to stationary hydrologic conditions. Numerical model runs supplemented with field data from a semiarid Long-Term Ecological Research site are then applied to represent more realistic environmental conditions. When vegetation cover is significant, crusts can drive desertification, but this process is potentially self-limiting. For low vegetation cover, crusts mitigate against desertification by providing water subsidy to plant communities through a runoff-runon mechanism. ©2015. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Note:
Related Files :
desertification
Infiltration
Model
physical crusts
Recovery
runoff-runon
Show More
Related Content
More details
DOI :
10.1002/2015JG003185
Article number:
Affiliations:
Database:
Scopus
Publication Type:
article
;
.
Language:
English
Editors' remarks:
ID:
30745
Last updated date:
02/03/2022 17:27
Creation date:
17/04/2018 00:56
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Scientific Publication
The dual role of soil crusts in desertification
120
Assouline, S., Institute of Soil, Water and Environmental Sciences, A.R.O., Volcani Center, Bet Dagan, Israel
Thompson, S.E., Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, CA, United States
Chen, L., Division of Hydrologic Sciences, Desert Research Institute, Las Vegas, NV, United States
Svoray, T., Geography and Environmental Development, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel
Sela, S., Geography and Environmental Development, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel
Katul, G.G., Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, Durham, NC, United States, Pratt School of Engineering, Duke University, Durham, NC, United States
The dual role of soil crusts in desertification
Vegetation cover in dry regions is a key variable in determining desertification. Soils exposed to rainfall by desertification can form physical crusts that reduce infiltration, exacerbating water stress on the remaining vegetation. Paradoxically, field studies show that crust removal is associated with plant mortality in desert systems, while artificial biological crusts can improve plant regeneration. Here it is shown how physical crusts can act as either drivers of or buffers against desertification depending on their environmental context. The behavior of crusts is first explored using a simplified theory for water movement on a uniform, partly vegetated slope subject to stationary hydrologic conditions. Numerical model runs supplemented with field data from a semiarid Long-Term Ecological Research site are then applied to represent more realistic environmental conditions. When vegetation cover is significant, crusts can drive desertification, but this process is potentially self-limiting. For low vegetation cover, crusts mitigate against desertification by providing water subsidy to plant communities through a runoff-runon mechanism. ©2015. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.
Scientific Publication
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