Rethinking remediation technologies for desertified landscapes

TitleRethinking remediation technologies for desertified landscapes
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1997
AuthorsHerrick JE, Havstad K, Coffin D.P.
JournalWater Conservation
Date Published1997
Accession NumberJRN00249

Shrub dominated communities have replaced native grasslands throughout much of the arid Southwest during the past 120 years. Most currently available remediation technologies are uneconomical due to large inputs of energy, fertilizers, herbicides adn labor or are ecologically ineffective due to harsh environments adn the highly competitive nature of these native shrubs. Our analysis of these historical remediation technologies together with new information on ecosystem processes has led us to pursue an ecologically-based approach in which more limited inputs are targeted to promote natural processes of regeneration. Advantages to this approach include lower costs, reduced reliance on agronomic practices, and maintenance of natural landscape features. Disadvantages include longer time required for desired changes to occur, and a need for increased understanding of arid land processes.