Biological soil crusts (BSCs) of Earth’s deserts (Science Daily)

Read at :

Secrets of Biological Soil Crusts Uncovered

June 14, 2013 — They lie dormant for years, but at the first sign of favorable conditions they awaken. This sounds like the tagline for a science fiction movie, but it describes the amazing life-cycles of microbial organisms that form the biological soil crusts (BSCs) of Earth’s deserts. Now a research team with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has reported a unique molecular-level analysis of a BSC cyanobacterium responding to the wetting and drying of its environment. The results hold implications for land management, improved climate change models, and a better understanding of carbon cycling in soil microbial communities and how changes in global temperatures impact Earth’s deserts.


Livelihoods and communities threatened by desertification (Google / IRIN News)

Read at : Google Alerts – desertification

MAURITANIA: Desertification threatens to wipe out livelihoods, communities

Environmental degradation, responsible for the dangerous displacement of sand dunes in Mauritania, has wiped out homes, livestock and livelihoods throughout the desert country. An October UN study estimated that land degradation costs nearly US$200 million annually in potential revenue losses and health care expenses.

UN researchers calculated the value of lost cultivable land, disappearing trees and water sources, along with the health care expenses from respiratory and waterborne illnesses related to the poor management of natural resources. The final estimated price tag: 14 percent of the government budget is swallowed up by environmental degradation, or about $192 million.

Some scientists have linked desertification, or land degradation in arid and semi-arid regions, to increasing global temperatures, while others emphasise human activities – like farming techniques and tree cutting – that they say have heightened the pace of degradation.


A botanist based in the capital Nouakchott, Abdellahi Ould Mohammed Vall, told IRIN Mauritania is at the front of the battle against the advancing desert. “The northern Saharan half of the country gets about 100mm of rain a year, while the more humid south gets about 150mm. Because of human behaviour the desert is advancing from north to south more rapidly than estimated decades ago. You see homes buried by sand in the capital.”


Bumpers eliminate sand and sand encroachment prevent desertification (Google / The Science Forum)

Read at :

Professor invented “Hammoud Hammad Badrani” solution to the problem of sand encroachment and desertification potential of this crawl repeated.

Thought this Aalachteraa based on leveraging the power of wind natural to inflate and the expulsion of sand that accumulates normally on the roads, through Monument sheets rectangular on both sides of the road when passing sand dunes moving obliquely occasion, when blowing sandstorm These fenders intercept path winds and working to convert them from the usual horizontal direction to vertical direction almost 45 onto the asphalt in the process of blowing and the expulsion of grains of sand that normally accumulate on roads and railways to continue its progress rather than booked fence or landscaping.

Bumpers sand consists of sheets of corrugated Alchenko prove in the ground or floating on the surface of the sand, and working bumpers moving sand does not impede vision in front of drivers.

The length of the bumper per three to six meters high from meters to about two meters placed next to each other and separated by distances medium covered protection side of the bumper to continue its progress rather than booked and accumulation behind the fence making it a permanence to drain sand without difficulty.

Fenders feature a radical solution to the problem of sand encroachment on roads and railways.


Sand Dunes (Google / Nova Publ.)

Read at : Google Alert – desertification

Sand Dunes: Conservation, Types and Desertification


Sand Dunes: Conservation, Types and Desertification

Editors: Jessica A. Murphy

Book Description:

In this book, the authors present current research in the study of the conservation, types and desertification of sand dunes. Topics discussed include the aridization, dune dissipation and pedogenesis in the Quarternary of Eastern Pampean sand sea; desert sand dunes for sulfur concrete production; Allocosa brasiliensis as a model towards the conservation of coastal sand dunes in Uruguay and the causes, impacts and control of desertification. (Imprint: Nova Press)


Sand control in China (Google / CRI)

Read at : Google Alert – desertification

Progress Made in Sand Control on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

Xinhua      Web Editor: Yihang

China stepped up efforts last year to control desert sprawl and preserve ecology on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, where the country’s major rivers originate.

Last year, nearly 10,000 hectares of trees were planted in Sanjiangyuan, the source of the Yangtze, Yellow and Lancang rivers, China’s three major rivers, Qinghai’s forestry bureau said in a press release Friday.

Meanwhile, another 1,900 hectares of sand fixation projects were launched in the region to curb desertification and preserve the ecology of the plateau, it said.

Sand control is a major challenge in the Sanjiangyuan region, particularly at the source of the Yangtze and Yellow rivers in the Qaidam and Gonghe basins and around Qinghai Lake.

Sand control specialists have used new technologies to fix sand dunes, plant trees and grass, and try water-saving irrigation methods to restore vegetation on the plateau.


To raise barriers against sand dunes and to mitigate desertification (Google / ANGOP)

Read at : Google Alert – desertification,76e93027-0013-44bd-8e60-960344dbdc26.html

UN supports reduction of desertification in Angola’s south

The Secretariat of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) is helping Angola to elaborate a specific project that will enable to raise barriers against sand dunes and mitigate desertification in Namibe City, in southwest Angola.

The executive-secretary of the convention, Luc Ganacadja, has given an interview to ANGOP and the public television (TPA), on the sidelines of the 17th UN Conference on Climate Changes, in which he said that an intervention should take place immediately in the mentioned region of Angola, considering the seriousness of the situation with the increase of sand dunes in Namibe.



A project to reduce the number of sand dunes in a bid to cut the number of sandstorms from Iraq (Google / AFP)

Read at : Google Alert – desertification

Iran, Iraq pay $1.2 bn to battle sandstorms

TEHRAN — A top Iranian environment official said on Monday Tehran and Baghdad will jointly pay $1.2 billion in a project to reduce the number of sand dunes in a bid to cut the number of sandstorms from Iraq.

“In order to reduce gravel levels we have signed an agreement with a foreign company worth $1.2 billion to cover a million hectares (2.47 million acres) of Iraqi soil in the next five years,” the official IRNA news agency quoted the head of Iran’s Environmental Protection Organisation as saying.

The name of the foreign firm was not given.



Stabilize sands at the edge of the desert with a grid of straw squares (Google /

Read at : Google Alert – desertification,,15182754,00.html

Grid of straw squares turns Chinese sand to soil

Straw helps grass to grow, which helps cultivate more vegetation

The sand dunes in Shapotou, a town in the northwestern Chinese province of Ningxia, stretch for as far as the eye can see.

The town is located in part of the roughly 2.6 million square kilometers (1 million square miles) of China that are covered in sandy or rocky deserts – an area about seven times as large as Germany.

One strategy regional officials have developed to keep the desert from – literally – gaining ground is to stabilize sands at the edge of the desert with a grid of straw squares, measuring about 1 square meter each. Brown says over-grazing is a result of a ‘classic tragedy of the commons’

Local official Yong Xu Cheng said the straw grid helps keep the sand from advancing on Shapotou, but adds that there are limits to how much can really be done.

“It’s very difficult to stop the sand’s advance everywhere,” he said. “We can only work on the edges of the desert and stabilize the ground along the railroad tracks and streets and around the villages and towns.”

Land reclamation

The grid, which looks like a massive fishnet over the sand, holds the ground together well enough to grow some hardy species of grass, which in turn provide enough stability to cultivate larger plants.

Fruit trees and grapevines now grow around Shapotou, which began the process or reclaiming land from the desert in the 1950s.

China has struggled to keep the deserts that cover more than a quarter of the country from gaining ground, but soil stabilization and sustainable livestock-farming are beginning to slow rates of desertification.



Sand-fixing shrubs on desertified sandy lands to control desertification (NCBI)

Read at :

Changes in soil properties after establishment of Artemisia halodendron and Caragana microphylla on shifting sand dunes in semiarid Horqin Sandy Land, northern China.

Su YZ, Zhang TH, Li YL, Wang F.


In the semiarid Horqin sandy land of northern China, establishment of artificial sand-fixing shrubs on desertified sandy lands is an effective measure to control desertification and improve the regional environment. Caragana microphylla Lam. and Artemisia halodendron Turcz. ex Bess. are two of the dominant native shrub species, which are adapted well to windy and sandy environments, and thus, are widely used in revegetation programs to control desertification in Horqin region. To assess the effects of artificially planting these two shrub species on restoration of desertified sandy land, soil properties and plant colonization were measured 6 years after planting shrubs on shifting sand dunes. Soil samples were taken from two depths (0-5 cm and 5-20 cm) under the shrub canopy, in the mid-row location (alley) between shrub belts, and from nonvegetated shifting sand dune (as a control). Soil fine fractions, soil water holding capacity, soil organic C and total N have significantly increased, and pH and bulk density have declined at the 0-5-cm topsoil in both C. microphylla and A. halodendron. At the 5-20 cm subsurface soil, changes in soil properties are not significant, with exception of bulk density and organic C concentration under the canopy of A. halodendron and total N concentration under the canopy of C. microphylla. Soil amelioration processes are initiated under the shrub canopies, as higher C and N concentrations were found under the canopies compared with alleys. At the same time, the establishment of shrubs facilitates the colonization and development of herbaceous species. A. halodendron proved to have better effects in fixing the sand surface, improving soil properties, and restoring plant species in comparison to C. microphylla.


%d bloggers like this: