Looking for a pulse in dryland ecosystems: Evaluating the pulse dynamics paradigm 40 years after its creation

10–14 April, 2018

Organising committee

  • Sasha Reed (U.S. Geological Survey)
  • Osvaldo Sala (Arizona State University)
  • Scott Collins (University of New Mexico)
  • Scott Ferrenberg (U.S. Geological Survey)



Global Drylands Center, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, USA




  1. Synthesise existing data to assess under which plant communities, climate types, and land-use histories the dryland pulse paradigm works in explaining ecosystem patterns and controls in arid and semiarid ecosystems.
  2. Evaluate the utility of the paradigm for different processes (e.g. primary productivity, soil respiration) and scales (e.g. plot-scale, ecosystem-scale) across the dryland biome.
  3. Employ emerging numerical tools, including modelling and remote sensing, to assess the dryland pulse paradigm.
  4. Refine / revise / reform the dryland pulse paradigm.
  5. Plan for a targeted set of experiments to directly test a revised paradigm.
  6. Intimately involve early career scientists and underrepresented scientific groups, and encourage them to play leadership roles in this important research area.