Degradation of drylands forms a threat to biological diversity and the carrying capacity of these lands. What is biological diversity? The Convention on Biological Diversity describes it as “The variability among living organisms from all sources including terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosystems and the ecological complexes which they are part, this includes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems”. Biodiversity is difficult to measure, especially to express quantitatively the changes that occurred under the impact of desertification. The study and mapping of biodiversity in drylands was neglected field until recently. Under the impact of desertification, biodiversity within ecosystems is reduced. This trend can be illustrated by which gives the results of obser vations conducted by Nechaeva in central Karakum and published by Kharin, Nechaeva & Nikolaev et al. (1985).


Biomass Dust Income Chlorine Compaction 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nikolai Kharin
    • 1
  1. 1.Center on Problems of Ecology and Productivity of ForestsRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia

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