Grazing and ecosystem services in drylands - synthesis by Maestre et al. published in Science


The newest paper from the BIODESERT ERC project of Prof. Fernando Maestre has been published in Science. The paper gives an overview on the effects of grazing on the ecosystem service delivery in global drylands. The study is based on the implementation of a robust field protocol in dry rangelands of six continents and 26 countries. It was our great pleasure that we could take part in this survey and we could represent the Hungarian rangelands. Our dry grasslands were situated in the least arid end of the whole studied gradient. Our part in the survey took approximately two months of intensive field survey and laboratory analysis, for which the help of our colleagues Katalin Lukács, Réka Kiss, Szilvia Radócz, Laura Godó and Sándor Borza was essential, many thanks!

The citation and the abstract of the paper:
Maestre, F.T.M. et al. 2022. Grazing and ecosystem service delivery in global drylands. Science 378: 915-920.


'Grazing represents the most extensive use of land worldwide. Yet its impacts on ecosystem services remain uncertain because pervasive interactions between grazing pressure, climate, soil properties, and biodiversity may occur but have never been addressed simultaneously. Using a standardized survey at 98 sites across six continents, we show that interactions between grazing pressure, climate, soil, and biodiversity are critical to explain the delivery of fundamental ecosystem services across drylands worldwide. Increasing grazing pressure reduced ecosystem service delivery in warmer and speciespoor drylands, whereas positive effects of grazing were observed in colder and species-rich areas. Considering interactions between grazing and local abiotic and biotic factors is key for understanding the fate of dryland ecosystems under climate change and increasing human pressure.'The lead authors of the paper prepared a nice and informative video summary, please click here to see it.