Life adapted to precariousness: The ecology of drylands

Jaime Martínez-Valderrama, Emilio Guirado, Fernando T. Maestre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Drylands occupy approximately 40% of the Earth’s surface. Their peculiar hydrological system, with water as the main limiting factor, together with other characteristics such as the variability of rainfall and their ecological heterogeneity, make these regions one of the main and most relevant sets of biomes on the planet. Beyond their stereotypical conception as places with low economic and ecological profiles, these territories have enormous biodiversity and support 40% of the world’s population. Global warming is increasing atmospheric aridity, meaning that the strategies developed over millennia by the inhabitants of these areas represent a model we can learn from. Preserving these places is essential to combat climate change, and to do so we must have an indepth understanding of their structure and functioning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9-15
Number of pages7
StatePublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023, Universitat de Valencia. All rights reserved.


  • Adaptations
  • Aridity
  • Biodiversity
  • Desertification
  • Droughts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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