The Desertification and Geo-Ecology Group funded in 1989, is concerned with the interactive relationship between geomorphological processes, soil evolution, and vegetation in arid and semi-arid environments. The main activities of the group are: (a) surface hydrology, soil morphology, evolution and erosion, and plant ecophysiology; (b) the response of semiarid ecosystems to climate change and human activities; and (c) the conservation of natural resources and sustainable development. The Group works at several scales: plot, hillslope, micro-catchment and basins. Research methods range from detailed analysis of processes in semiarid areas equipped with specific instrumentation (eddy covariance towers, meteorological and hydrological stations), to the use of geographic information systems and remote sensing, geo-statistic methods and spatial analysis, and soil micromorphology. The group manages and maintains three field stations with scientific infrastructure in the Betic region with different lithologies: mica schist (Rambla Honda), gypsiferous mudstone (El Cautivo) and calcrete (Cabo de Gata).