The urgency of building soils for Middle Eastern and North African countries: Economic, environmental, and health solutions

Maha Deeb, Andrey Valentinovich Smagin, Stephan Pauleit, Olivier Fouché-Grobla, Pascal Podwojewski, Peter M. Groffman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Soil degradation is a short or long ongoing process that limits ecosystem services. Intensive land use, water scarcity, land disturbance, and global climate change have reduced the quality of soils worldwide. This degradation directly threatens most of the land in the Middle East and North Africa, while the remaining areas are at high risk of further desertification. Rehabilitation and control of these damaged environments are essential to avoid negative effects on human well-being (e.g., poverty, food insecurity, wars, etc.). Here we review constructed soils involving the use of waste materials as a solution to soil degradation and present approaches to address erosion, organic matter oxidation, water scarcity and salinization. Our analysis showed a high potential for using constructed soil as a complimentary reclamation solution in addition to traditional ones. Constructed soils could have the ability to overcome the limitations of existing solutions to tackle land degradation while contributing to the solution of waste management problems. These soils facilitate the provision of multiple ecosystem services and have the potential to address particularly challenging land degradation problems in semi and dry climates.

Original languageEnglish
Article number170529
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume917
DOIs
StatePublished - 20 Mar 2024

Keywords

  • Arid soil
  • Constructed soil
  • Plant adaptation
  • Restoration
  • Soil formation

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