Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10261/58911
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Título : Dryness is accelerating degradation of vulnerable shrublands in semiarid Mediterranean environments
Autor : Vicente Serrano, Sergio M., Zoubel, Aider, Lasanta Martínez, Teodoro, Pueyo, Yolanda
Palabras clave : Desertification
Drought
Limiting factors
Vegetation cover trends
Remote sensing
Land degradation
Central Ebro valley
Fecha de publicación : 2012
Editor: Ecological Society of America
Citación : Ecological Monographs (on-line first): (2012)
Resumen: [EN] Semi-arid Mediterranean regions are highly susceptible to desertification processes. This study investigated the influence of increasing climate aridity in explaining the decline in vegetation cover in highly vulnerable gypsum semi-arid shrublands of the Mediterranean region. For this purpose, we have used time series of the percentage of vegetation coverage obtained from remote sensing imagery (Landsat satellites). We found a dominant trend toward decreased vegetation cover, mainly in summer and in areas affected by the most severe water stress conditions (low precipitation, higher evapotranspiration rates and sun-exposed slopes). We show that past human management and current climate trends interact with local environmental conditions to determine the occurrence of vegetation degradation processes. The results suggest that degradation could be a consequence of the past overexploitation that has characterized this area (and many others in the Mediterranean region), but increased aridity, mainly related to global warming, may be triggering and/or accelerating the degradation processes. The observed pattern may be an early warning of processes potentially affecting more areas of the Mediterranean, according to the most up to date climate change models for the 21st century.
Descripción : 66 págs, 8 figs, 4 tablas - Copyright 2012 by the Ecological Society of America
Versión del editor: http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/11-2164.1
URI : http://hdl.handle.net/10261/58911
ISSN: 0012-9615
DOI: 10.1890/11-2164.1
Citación : Ecological Monographs (on-line first): (2012)
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