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UTILIZATION AND MANAGEMENT OF ARID LAND PLANTS $100.00
Authors:  Rahim Foroughbakhch Pournavab, Jorge Luis Hernández-Piñero, Marco Antonio Alvarado-Vázquez, Alejandra Rocha Estrada
Abstract:
According to Lacoste and Salonon (1978) we may consider as arid regions those areas
where shortage and irregularity of precipitations, and thermal oscillations, considerably
reduce the development of life forms. Rzedowski (1959) defines them as all those regions
with deficient water provision with precipitation and atmospheric humidity values usually
well below the world-wide average. On the other hand Zerecero (1981) and Velasco (1991)
make a greater precision about the arid and semi-arid zones defining the former as those areas
with annual pluvial precipitation lower than 350 mm with an irregular distribution during the
year, the average temperature oscillate between 15 and 25 °C and frequent drought periods of
7 to 12 months and with a vegetal cover smaller than 70%. On the other hand, in semiarid
regions precipitation varies between 350 and 600 mm per year with a medium temperature of
18 to 25 °C, 6 to 8 moths drought and a vegetal cover higher than 70% dominated by
thornscrub and grass vegetation.
Despite the existing divergences between the different interpretations for the arid
concept, the definition of the limits between different degrees of dryness is still more difficult
to fix (Rzedowski, 1959). In this respect, Mc Ginnies (1983) mentions that it is difficult, if
not impossible, to arrive at a satisfactory terminology universally accepted for the arid regions besides the differences among scientists with respect to the names used since the literature
mention terms such as subhumid, semi-arid, subdesert, semidesert, steppe, desert, extremely
arid and hyperarid among others.
Lacoste and Salonon (1978) distinguished the following hierarchy in the arid zones on
the basis of the humidity index: semi-arid or semidesert regions (rainfall generally smaller to
500 mm annual), arid regions (annual rainfall generally smaller to 200 mm) and hyperarid
regions (territories where precipitation may not occur during a whole year). It is important to
consider that the precipitation is not the only determining factor of the humidity degree, so
numerous indices of efficiency of the precipitation have been proposed using other
climatologic data for their correction, such as the temperature, the evaporation or the deficit
of saturation.
Another type of criterion used to establish the limits of the arid zones is based on the
agricultural possibilities of a certain region. Many geographers settle down the limit based on
the environment adversity for the human species. Vegetal ecologists generally look for limits
based on the physiognomy and abundance of living organisms (Rzedowski, 1959). 


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