Extensive regions of the world have a climate which, whilst permitting development of a continuous vegetative cover, is too dry for successful annual cropping. These are the semi-arid areas where land use is based on the natural vegetation. Easily degraded and difficult to maintain, they are under increasing pressure as expanding human populations move in and endeavour to force a living from them. As a result they contain some of the worst examples of resource degradation.This book examines the problems and opportunities involved in man's use of semi-arid areas. The authors are all actively involved in research and land management in the areas discussed. Each chapter begins with a detailed, up-to-date account of the ecology of the region (its climate, soils, vegetation, fauna and main ecological characteristics). This is followed by a history of land use, problems involved in its management, a review of current research and recommended land use practices. The common features of semi-arid ecosystems are brought together in a final section.