biosphere processes

basic ecosystem functions

Landscape monitoring for ecosystem health

Conventional land monitoring can't detect ecosystem improvement or deterioration until symptoms are severe. Presents methods that detect changes early.

Index of articles and links

According to a U.S. National Research Council report in 1994, using conventional monitoring methods and data, it is impossible to determine whether U.S. rangelands are improving or degrading. They recommended an approach based on multiple indicators of basic ecosystem processes.

Fundamental ecosystem processes and how they work

Basic knowledge to help you manage ecosystems successfully.

Fundamental ecosystem processes and how they work

Index of articles and links

By understanding and monitoring a few fundamental processes that operate in every ecosystem, we can simplify the complexity of natural systems enough to manage natural resources skillfully.

Allan Savory

Improving soil health and building new soil

Practical methods based on proven success.

Improving soil health and building new soil

Soil health is vital to ecosystem health. Today the U.S.A.'s biggest export, in tons and dollar value, is eroding topsoil. What topsoil remains is often drenched with chemicals and nearly devoid of life. This stops the soil-building process.

Fortunately topsoil can be grown fairly quickly. Even land so damaged it has no topsoil can be restored.

Working with soil life

Information about the most overlooked and underrated members of land ecosystems.

Index of articles and links

Desertification: what it is and how to fix it

Why conventional "solutions" fail to reverse desertification; proven methods that work.

Index of articles and links

Desertification is the process by which formerly productive land (grasslands, savannas, forests, and farmland) becomes desert.

How to heal damaged land

Index of articles and links

Grasslands and grazers evolved together in the world's seasonally dry and arid (brittle) environments. Healing this land usually involves managing livestock to perform the ecosystem functions once performed by wild animals. This works even on severely damaged and eroded land, and in places where no topsoil remains.

Revegetating soilless land

Index of articles and links

Even land that has lost all its soil -- or where no soil ever existed -- can be revegetated. Using the method shown, up to a foot of soil can be created in three years, even in arid areas.

Thomas J. Elpel

Animal impact: how trampling and disturbance benefit grassland ecosystems

Grasslands and dryland ecosystems are adapted to, and dependent upon, disturbances such as grazing and trampling.

Landscape brittleness: how "good" management can harm land

Summary: Landscapes in different climates respond very differently to similar management. Management that doesn't suit the landscape is the leading cause of desertification worldwide.

Brittleness: an introduction

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