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Comparative ecological change and restoration in dryland woodlands

Comparative ecological change and restoration in dryland woodlands

Identifying common problems and novel solutions in the Southern Cone of South America and the Sahel of Africa

Identifying common problems and novel solutions in the Southern Cone of South America and the Sahel of Africa

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Published on Friday, September 03, 2021 by Céline Guilleux

Summary

Drylands, semi-arid woodlands and seasonally dry forests are increasingly important areas of global change dynamics. Their soil and woody biomass are important for storing carbon despite the slow growth of trees in such areas. They are also increasingly subject to droughts and degradation pressures from poor management, including management that increases the intensity of wildfires, increases sedentary exploitation, and so on. Restoration to prevent or reverse their degradation is an important issue. However, it is difficult to design good restoration and management programmes for dryland woodlands when we know relatively little about their natural dynamics, which are often too slow to understand from short research projects which may be conditioned in unknown ways by local historical and social factors. The workshop will identify open questions that may be addressed from a comparative perspective, and issues where comparison across southern South America and the Sahel may lead to novel research questions, experiments, and future research and research-action collaborations.

Announcement

Argument

Drylands, semi-arid woodlands and seasonally dry forests are increasingly important areas of global change dynamics (Maestre et al. 2016). Their soil and woody biomass are important for storing carbon despite the slow growth of trees in such areas. They are also increasingly subject to droughts and degradation pressures from poor management, including management that increases the intensity of wildfires, increases sedentary exploitation, and so on (UNCCD 2017). Restoration to prevent or reverse their degradation is an important issue (Newton et al. 2012). However, it is difficult to design good restoration and management programmes for dryland woodlands when we know relatively little about their natural dynamics, which are often too slow to understand from short research projects which may be conditioned in unknown ways by local historical and social factors. Much knowledge of forest dynamics and anthropogenic effects on trees and woodlands is also based on temperate and tropical forests (e.g. Rackham 2006). Consequently, comparison between dryland woodlands and forests is valuable to aid interpretation. Furthermore, comparative perspectives across the global South are rare. The comparative perspective brings numerous frameworks to light and places results in new perspectives, which can be used to develop new approaches both to understanding ecological dynamics under perturbations from climate and anthropogenic use, and approaches to restoration. The workshop will identify open questions that may be addressed from a comparative perspective, and issues where comparison across southern South America and the Sahel may lead to novel research questions, experiments, and future research and research-action collaborations.

Registration

This event will be held both in-person and via Zoom at the same time:

Organization

Workshop organized by Meredith Root-Bernstein (Centre d'écologie et des sciences de la conservation - CNRS - MNHN)

Programme

14:30- 14:45 Opening remarks Meredith Root-Bernstein (CNRS/ Muséum)

14:45- 15:35 Round table one: Perspectives on Dryland Woodland Degradation and Restoration in the Sahel Region

Contributors:

  • Honam Atsri (Université de Lomé-Togo) : Forests of Togo
  • Shalom Addo-Danso (CSIR-Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG): Forests of Ghana
  • Samadori Honoré Biaou (Université de Parakou, Bénin): Prospects and challenges of woodland restoration in West Africa with insights from permanent plot observations in Benin.
  • Ahmed Mahmoud (Univeristy of Nottingham) : Desertification processes in Sudan with a focus on sand dune movements
  • Aziz Balouche (University of Angers) : Long-term perspective of environmental changes in the Sahel.

15:35- 16:15 Discussion.

  • Discussant : Juan Armesto (Institute of Ecology and Biodiversity, Chile)

16:15-16:55 Round table two: Perspectives on Dryland Woodland Degradation and Restoration in Semi-Arid Forests of South America

Contributors:

  • Meredith Root-Bernstein (CNRS/Muséum) : Rewilding and succession of silvopastoral and schlerophyllous forests of central Chile
  • Andrés Tálamo (CONICET) : Degradation and restoration in the Argentinian Chaco
  • Joseph Veldman (Texas A&M) Cerrado savanna and woodlands & fire
  • Rachel Cypher (University of California Santa Cruz) : Discourses of degradation in Argentinian rangelands

16:55- 17:35 Discussion.

  • Discussant: Tristan Charles-Dominique (Sorbonne) 

17:50- 18:20 Global and comparative views on dryland and semi-arid woodland degradation and restoration

Contributors:

  • Milena Holmgren (Wageningen University) : Climate variability and the resilience of tropical drylands
  • Brandon Bestelmeyer (USDA) : Conceptual models of dryland degradation and restoration: processes and potentials
  • Adrian Newton (Bournemouth University) : Ecosystem collapse in dry forests

18:20-19:00 Discussion.

  • Discussant: Colin Hoag (Smith College)

19:00-19:15 Final remarks, Meredith Root-Bernstein

Places

  • 6 rue Thomas Mann
    Paris, France (75)

Event format

Hybrid event (on site and online)


Date(s)

  • Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Keywords

  • ecological change, restoration, dryland, woodland

Information source

  • Marie Sahakian
    courriel : msahakian [at] uchicago [dot] edu

To cite this announcement

« Comparative ecological change and restoration in dryland woodlands », Study days, Calenda, Published on Friday, September 03, 2021, https://calenda.org/905758

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