Indicators of degradation
We develop and test indicators of degradation in ecosystems, especially indicators of desertification based on spatial vegetation patterns.
Shifts can be responsible for large, long-lasting changes in ecosystems and can result in dramatic ecological and economic consequences. In the current context of global change, it is becoming increasingly important for us to be able to anticipate shifts in ecological communities. For terrestrial ecosystems, it has been hypothesized that vegetation patchiness could be used as a signature of imminent transitions in ecosystems. We study how vegetation patchiness changes in arid ecosystems under changing external pressures (e.g. grazing), using both field data and modelling approaches with the aim to develop reliable indicators of degradation, in particular in the case of drylands.