Research lectures, seminars and events
The events listed in this area are research seminars, workshops and lectures hosted by Durham University departments and research institutes. If you are not a member of the University, but wish to enquire about attending one of the events please contact the organiser or host department.
Seminar - Only Connect: Ecogeomorphology of Land Degradation in Drylands
Land degradation is a common feature in many drylands of the world. In some areas, it is a process that has been active for millennia, while in others it is a much more recent phenomenon. However, even in locations where the changes are reasonably well-documented such as the US Southwest, there is still great controversy as to the relative effects of different causal mechanisms and consequent understanding of processes in order to carry out effective mitigation.
In recent years, connectivity has spread increasingly from the ecological to the geographical literature as a way of understanding processes at landscape scale. I argue that connectivity must be employed in this sense of understanding process operation. To this extent, we have distinguished structural and functional connectivity as a means of explaining patterns of land degradation. This distinction will be demonstrated using field and modelling studies in relation to changes in the US Southwest over the last 150 years. In this sense connectivity is central to geographical approaches in that it underpins the understanding of scale and place. Furthermore, I suggest that the idea of connectivity also needs to be extended to the disciplinary level; that only by an integrated ecogeomorphological approach will the answers to complex problems like these in Earth Systems Science be soluble.
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