Life adapted to precariousness: The ecology of drylands


Drylands occupy approximately 40 % of the Earth's surface. Their peculiar hydrological regime, with water as the main limiting factor, together with other characteristics, such as the variability of rainfall and their ecological heterogeneity, turn these regions into one of the main and most relevant sets of biomes on the planet. Beyond their stereotypical conception as places with a low economic and ecological profile, these territories have enormous biodiversity and support 40 % of the world's population. Global warming is increasing atmospheric aridity and the strategies developed over millennia by their inhabitants are a model to learn from. Preserving these places is essential to combat climate change, and to do so, it is essential to have an in-depth understanding of their structure and functioning.


aridity; droughts; biodiversity; adaptations; desertification

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Texts in the journal are –unless otherwise indicated– published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License