Swearingen, Will Department of Earth Sciences, Montana State University, Bozeman, Montana.
- Causes and consequences
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
Land degradation in low-rainfall and seasonally dry areas of the Earth. It can be viewed as both a process and the resulting condition. Desertification involves the impoverishment of vegetation and soil resources. Key characteristics include the degradation of natural vegetation cover and undesirable changes in the composition of forage species, deterioration in soil quality, decreasing water availability, and increased soil erosion from wind and water. Desertification is a global problem. Various stages of desertification can be seen in most of the world's drylands. In rare cases, desertification leads to abandoned, desertlike landscapes.
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