This review covers two major causes of change in pastoral systems. First is fragmentation, the dissection of a natural system into spatially isolated parts, which is caused by a number of socioeconomic factors such as changes in land tenure, agriculture, sedentarization, and institutions. Second is climate change and climate variability, which are expected to alter dry and semiarid grasslands now and into the future. Details of these changes are described using examples from Africa and Mongolia. An adaptation framework is used to place global change in context. Although pastoral systems are clearly under numerous constraints and risks have intensified, pastoralists are adapting and trying to remain flexible. It is too early to ask if the responses are enough, given the magnitude and number of changes faced by pastoralists today.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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