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Phytogenic mounds (nebkhas) in Mediterranean-arid landscapes: ecological function, and potential for combating desertification and biodiversity loss

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Dutch title: Duinvormende zandfixerende planten (nebkha's) in aride Mediterrane landschappen: ecologische functie, en potentieel voor bestrijding van woestijnvorming en biodiversiteitsverlies
Period: January 2004 till December 2007
Status: Completed

Thesaurus terms: Biodiversity; Desertification; Wind erosion

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  • Universiteit Antwerpen; Departement Biologie; Onderzoeksgroep Planten- en Vegetatie-ecologie, more, partner

Several native plant species of Mediterranean-arid ecosystems naturally fix winblown materials in small, stable, phytogenic mounds or `nebkhas', but none of them are currently used to combat desertification. In this project we screen a variety of such species, not only for sand stabilisation, but also to promote biodiversity by creating habitats for other species, since nebkhas locally improve soil fertility and water status. The project explores the potential of a new, natural rehabilitation technique to control the leakage of scarce resources from degraded arid landscapes.

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