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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Boise, Idaho » Northwest Watershed Research Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #372908

Research Project: Assessment and Mitigation of Disturbed Sagebrush-Steppe Ecosystems

Location: Northwest Watershed Research Center

Title: Landscape sustainability science in the drylands: mobility, rangelands and livelihoods

Author
item LIAO, CHUAN - Arizona State University
item RUBENSTEIN, DANIEL - Princeton University
item LEVIN, SIMON - Princeton University
item Clark, Pat
item AGRAWAL, ARUN - University Of Michigan

Submitted to: Landscape Ecology
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/7/2020
Publication Date: 7/17/2020
Citation: Liao, C., Rubenstein, D., Levin, S., Clark, P., Agrawal, A. 2020. Landscape sustainability science in the drylands: mobility, rangelands and livelihoods. Landscape Ecology. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10980-020-01068-8.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10980-020-01068-8

Interpretive Summary: A synthetic review of the socio-ecological literature was needed to provide a benchmark regarding our current understanding of coupled human-natural systems occurring within the dryland regions of the Earth which occupy 41% of the global terrestrial surface, support the livelihoods of millions of pastoralists, and host diverse flora and fauna. Specifically, three questions were explored: 1) how do pastoralists employ mobility strategies at different spatiotemporal scales in the drylands and how is their mobility affected by socio-environmental characteristics and shifts; 2) how do macro- and micro-scale variables affect rangeland vegetation dynamics and regime shifts; and 3) how do pastoralists adjust their livelihood strategies in response to rangeland vegetation transitions? By addressing these questions, this review aimed to inform future policy-making for reconciling concerns about food security and environmental conservation across drylands globally.

Technical Abstract: The global drylands cover 41 percent of the terrestrial surface and support millions of pastoralists and host diverse flora and fauna. In reviewing their importance, we adopt the lens of mobility which reflects not only human and animal movements but also the unique lifestyles and cultural identities of people in drylands. The review focuses on the patterns of rangeland vegetation dynamics and livelihood transformations associated with changes in vegetation and mobility. Specifically, we explore three questions: 1) how do pastoralists employ mobility strategies at different spatiotemporal scales in the drylands and how is their mobility affected by socio-environmental characteristics and shifts; 2) how do macro- and micro-scale variables affect rangeland vegetation dynamics and regime shifts; and 3) how do pastoralists adjust their livelihood strategies in response to rangeland vegetation transitions? In addressing these questions, the review aims to inform future policy-making towards reconciling concerns on food security and environmental conservation across the global drylands.