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Drylands in East Asia (DEA) is home to more than one billion people with an environment vulnerable to natural and anthropogenic changes. One of the critical needs in the region is to fully understand how dryland ecosystems respond to the changing climate and human activities in order to develop strategies to cope with continued climate change. Dryland East Asia provides state-of-the-art knowledge and information on drylands ecosystem dynamics, changing climate, society, and land use in the region. In addition to the synthesis of the existing research and knowledge of DEA, Dryland East Asia provides a role model for regional ecological assessment. With a wide spectrum of contributions from experts around the globe, Dryland East Asia should be of interest to researchers and students both internationally and in East Asia. Lessons learned from this synthesis effort in DEA should be useful for developing climate adaptation strategies for other similar regions around the globe.