The North-Western Negev -- Geological Background of the Nizzana Area -- Geo-Ecology of the North-Western Negev Sand Field -- Formation and Geomorphology of the North-Western Negev Sand Dunes -- The Regional Climatic Setting -- Soil Characteristicsand Pattern of the Nizzana Research Site -- Land Use and its Effect on the Mobilization and Stabilization of the North-Western Negev Sand Dunes -- Ecosystem Patterns -- The Flora of the Nizzana Research Site -- The Vegetation of the Nizzana Research Site -- A Glance on the Fauna of Nizzana -- Biological Crusts -- Land Cover in the Nizzana Sandy Arid Ecosystem. Mapping Surface Properties with Multi-Spectral Remote Sensing Data -- Ecosystem Processes -- Topoclimate and Microclimate -- Evapotranspiration, Transpiration and Dewfall -- Morphological Changes at Active Dune Crests -- Aeolian Sand Transport and Vegetation Cover -- Soil Processes and Salt Dynamics in Dune Soils -- Runoff and Erosion Processes Within a Dune System -- Effects of Surface Runoff and Subsurface Flow on the Spatial Variability of Water Resources in Longitudinal Dunes -- Atmospheric Input of Nutrient Elements and Dust into the Sand Dune Field of the North-Western Negev -- Succession Stages in the Recovery Processes of the Topsoil Crust in a Disturbed Sandy Arid Area -- Dew Formation and Activity of Biological Soil Crusts -- Nitrogen Input Pathways into Sand Dunes: Biological Fixation and Atmospheric Nitrogen Deposition -- Vascular Plant Response to Microbiotic Soil Surface Crusts -- Ion Relations of Plants and Soil Patterns -- Temporal and Spatial Variability of Plant Water Status and Leaf Gas Exchange -- Standing Biomass and its Modelling -- Effects of Shrubs on Annual Plant Populations -- Demography of Annual Plants: The Role of Habitat Heterogeneity and Competition -- Research Perspectives / Synthesis and General Conclusions -- Sensitivity of a Sandy Area to Climate Change Along a Rainfall Gradient at a Desert Fringe -- General Conclusions - Sand Dune Deserts, Desertification, Rehabilitation and Conservation. Sand dune dynamics plays a key role in many arid deserts. This volume provides a synthesis of a specific sand dune ecosystem, the Nizzana site in the Negev Desert. Describing its climate and geophysical/geochemical properties of soils, geological history, flora and fauna, and past/present land-use patterns, it elucidates ecological and geomorphological processes and their interrelations, based on long-term monitoring, in situ experiments and satellite imagery. Particular attention is drawn to the impact of the topsoil biological crust in controlling water availability at local/regional scales. The interdisciplinary approach adopted in this case study offers a good example of a highly complex and dynamic system, which could easily be applied to other sandy ecosystems. This is a valuable source of information for soil ecologists and microbiologists, conservation biologists, desert ecologists and geographers, geomorphologists, soil scientists and climatologists, lecturers, policy makers and others interested in deserts and desertification.