The Anthropogeomorphic Impacts of Camping Activities and Livestock Enclosures on Zoogeomorphological Processes and Activity in the Kuwaiti Desert
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The purpose of this study was to evaluate the impact of anthropogeomorphic disturbances on zoogeomorphic processes and patterns in the Kuwaiti desert. Specific objectives were focused on evaluating post-disturbance zoogeomorphic conditions between non-disturbed sites and human camps 2010, human camps 2017, livestock enclosures 2010, and livestock enclosures 2017. Site variables are soil compaction and zoogeomorphic conditions. Zoogeomorphic conditions are classified into small mammal, small reptile, invertebrate, and total zoogeomorphic features. Fieldwork and remote sensing data collection techniques were followed as an approach to adequately evaluate the impact of anthropogeomorphic disturbances on zoogeomorphic processes and patterns. Results revealed that 1) soil compaction differed significantly between non-disturbed sites and all other disturbed sites; 2) with an exception to non-disturbed sites vs. human camps 2017, small mammal zoogeomorphic features were not significantly different between the non-disturbed sites vs the other disturbed sites; 3) small reptile, invertebrate, and total zoogeomorphic features were only significantly different between non-disturbed sites and human camps 2010, and non-disturbed sites vs livestock enclosures 2017. The functional response approach was used to understand how human activities impact zoogeomorphic processes and patterns. Soil compaction was the primary proxy used to understand the interrelationship between human activities and zoogeomorphic processes and patterns. Soil compaction is a significant factor that plays an important role in the abundance of zoogeomorphic features. However, according to the functional response model of this dissertation, other factors such as organic matter availability and topographic protection seemed to limit the impact of soil compaction on zoogeomorphic processes and play an important role in the abundance of zoogeomorphic features. These results contribute to advancing knowledge of anthropogeomorphic disturbance and zoogeomorphic processes and provide applied information for desert ecosystem management.