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- The Joint Aquatic Science Meeting (JASM) congress in Grand Rapids – Michigan#(US). Oral presentation “Oases: definition, distribution, and biocultural importance“#Abstract: Drylands cover about 40 % of the global land surface. Oases s.s. are#“vegetated islands”, generally fed by groundwater, embedded in drylands. Drylands,#including oases, contain a unique biological and cultural diversity, are the origin of#important crop species, and build pivotal genetic reservoirs. Hence, oases may serve as#model systems to study biocultural diversity. Here, we provide a comprehensive#definition and typology of oases, present the outcome of an extensive bibliographical#research, and introduce an open-source database (WOase) on oases. For example, we#obtained high resolution climatic, geologic, vegetation and human demographic#information from remote sensing sources – starting with data from northern Africa.
Human infrastructures, spatial contrast in vegetation cover, temperature and#precipitation are the most explicative variables delineating oases, while variables such#as altitude, slope, vegetation or groundwater help to refine the definition. Furthermore, we use languages as proxy for cultural diversity, and disentangle linkages between cultural and biological diversity. Overall, oases are key ecosystems of global biological, ecological and cultural importance; at the same time they are highly threatened ecosystems that deserve major attention in future conservation and management planning. Link to presentation:
- 36th Congress of the International Society of Limnology (SIL100) in Berlin (Germany). Poster “S-Oases: An open-source database on the environmental and cultural state and future development of oases”. Abstract: Drylands cover 41.3% of the global land surface, containing at least 30% of the world’s cultivated plants and livestock and being considered a significant genetic reservoir. Surface water in drylands is scarce and, when available, usually proceeds from old groundwater deposits. Water availability is a precondition for the presence of oases. Oases s.str. are “intrazonal vegetation islands surrounded by drylands (AI<0.02), either natural or human-made, characterised by a persistent water supply, which make them a fertile area”. Oases per se provoque microclimates that allow their own maintenance. Water evaporation captures energy reducing temperature which produces a ring breeze circulation with the hot air from desert acting as a vertical wall avoiding moisture exchange. Oases are ecosystems of pivotal biological, ecological and cultural importance. They may serve either as climatic refugia or stepping stones, and have given shelter to civilizations since ancient times. At the same time, oases are highly threatened by human population growth, disrupting the hydrological and thermal balance. Therefore, major attention in conservation and management planning is needed. We are creating an open-source database (S-Oases: Senckenberg Oases Database), with extensive bibliographical research. The goal is to delineate oases, to assess their environmental and cultural state, and encourage oasis research and management globally. Data will be made available in an open-source database meeting the FAIR principles. We present the first map of oases in Africa and the Middle East, as well as the outcome of extensive bibliometric and data analyses.