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Globally, drylands cover about 40% of the terrestrial land surface. These areas are home to more than a quarter of the global population, including different biodiversity hot spots, and contain over a quarter of the world's forest area. They are faced with a multitude of challenges including recurrent droughts and water scarcity, exacerbated by climate variability and changes, land degradation leading to desertification, and loss of biodiversity. In many dryland areas, recurrent flash flooding is also a constant challenge, generated by runoff from intensive rain events in degraded adjacent and upstream highland areas.
To reduce environmental and human vulnerability in drylands and ensure sustainable intensifications, soil and water management efforts have been put in place across the globe. Research should support the sustainable management of soil and water resources in dryland areas through scenario analyses and the development and validation of contextualized soil and water management innovations. Restoration of degraded drylands through area enclosures, physical and biological soil and water conservation practices, and the use of deficit and supplemental irrigation are areas of research and development for sustainable intensifications whilst maintaining ecosystem functions.
The combinations of field experimentations, scenario analyses through qualitative and quantitative techniques, and modeling studies can provide wider information on the sustainable management of soil and water resources in dryland areas.
This Research Topic welcomes those engaged in interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research in soil and water management for dryland areas. Theoretical, experimental, modeling, and social studies falling in the following topic areas are welcomed.
Keywords: drought, dryland, soil, degradation, water, land management, climate variability, spate irrigation, restoration, flooding, landscape, modelling, climate change
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.