U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dot gov

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.


Main content area

Emerging technological and cultural shifts advancing drylands research and management

Dawn M Browning, Albert Rango, Jason W Karl, Christine M Laney, Enrique R Vivoni, Craig E Tweedie
Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 2015 v.13 no.1 pp. 52-60
temporal variation, monitoring, arid lands, ecosystem services, landscapes, information dissemination, uncertainty, data collection, ecosystem management, climate change, data analysis, ecosystems, spatial variation, analytical methods, environmental assessment, technology
Sustainable management of arid landscapes is complicated by extreme conditions that constrain biological responses to perturbation, great spatial complexity, and uncertain degrees of ecosystem resilience to climate change. Traditional approaches to the collection, management, and analysis of data from dryland monitoring efforts should consider these complications. Over the past century, research on drylands has gradually transitioned from short‐term, plot‐scale studies to long‐term, regional‐ and biome‐scale efforts. Two thresholds are imminent: a technological tipping point that will facilitate performing novel science using new techniques to collect, manage, and analyze data, and a cultural tipping point, where various research products are shared more freely and through different communication pathways. A new framework could be developed by promoting interdisciplinary collaboration and implementing standardized practices regarding data collection, curation, and sharing.