DDD Conference

Restoration and rehabilitation of desert ecosystems

Convener: Oded Berger-Tal, BIDR

Deserts ecosystems contain some of the most unique biomes and species on Earth, making their conservation a high priority. However, decades of treating deserts as “non-important” wastelands have led to many large-scale human disturbances in desert environments. These include open mining, oil and toxic waste pollution, failed agricultural attempts, off-road vehicle use, and grazing by non-native herbivores. Depending on their type and severity, these disturbances can reduce the abundance of native species, alter soil properties, diminish ecosystem services for humans, and create hazards to humans such as blowing dust from eroded soils
The extreme environmental conditions that characterize deserts’ environments pose unique challenges to the restoration and rehabilitation of desert ecosystems. In this double session we will present and discuss the challenges, successes and failures of restoration projects in desert environments from two complementary perspectives: projects concentrating on restoring and rehabilitating desert species (session 1), and projects concentrating at restoring and rehabilitating desert biomes (session 2).

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