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Are semiarid shrubs resilient to drought and grazing? Differences and similarities among species and habitats in a long-term study
Year:
2014
Source of publication :
Journal of Arid Environments
Authors :
Ungar, Eugene David
;
.
Volume :
102
Co-Authors:
DeMalach, N., Institute of Plant Science and Genetics in Agriculture, Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, P.O. Box 12, Rehovot 76100, Israel
Kigel, J., Institute of Plant Science and Genetics in Agriculture, Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, P.O. Box 12, Rehovot 76100, Israel
Voet, H., Department of Agricultural Economics and Management, Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, P.O. Box 12, Rehovot 76100, Israel
Ungar, E.D., Department of Agronomy and Natural Resources, Institute of Plant Sciences, Agricultural Research Organization - Volcani Center, P.O. Box 6, Bet Dagan 50250, Israel
Facilitators :
From page:
1
To page:
8
(
Total pages:
8
)
Abstract:
We assessed long-term effects of grazing cessation and drought on the shrub community of a semiarid ecosystem with a long history of grazing, located in the Mediterranean-to-desert transitional zone in Israel. Effects of grazing and drought on the cover of dominant (. Sarcopoterium spinosum) and subdominant (. Thymelaea hirsuta, Noaea mucronata and Coridothymus capitatus) shrubs were monitored during 12 years in four topographic habitats. With the exception of the toxic shrub T.hirsuta, shrub cover increased by a few (at most five) percentage points soon after the establishment of fenced plots to prevent grazing, but the difference in cover between protected and grazed plots did not increase subsequently. Response of the woody vegetation cover to the drought pulse was more complex because it was affected by both species and habitat; it showed patterns of steady decrease, transient decrease, and transient increase. Recovery after the drought pulse was relatively slow, and total shrub cover did not return to its predrought level within 7 years. Varied responses to drought and grazing preclude consideration of shrubs as a single response group. The findings heighten concern for the stability of the ecosystem in light of the increasing frequency of dry seasons predicted by climate-change models. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Note:
Related Files :
climate change
climate modeling
desertification
Grazing
Israel
Sarcopoterium spinosum
shrub
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Related Content
More details
DOI :
10.1016/j.jaridenv.2013.10.016
Article number:
Affiliations:
Database:
Scopus
Publication Type:
article
;
.
Language:
English
Editors' remarks:
ID:
19893
Last updated date:
02/03/2022 17:27
Creation date:
16/04/2018 23:32
Scientific Publication
Are semiarid shrubs resilient to drought and grazing? Differences and similarities among species and habitats in a long-term study
102
DeMalach, N., Institute of Plant Science and Genetics in Agriculture, Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, P.O. Box 12, Rehovot 76100, Israel
Kigel, J., Institute of Plant Science and Genetics in Agriculture, Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, P.O. Box 12, Rehovot 76100, Israel
Voet, H., Department of Agricultural Economics and Management, Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, P.O. Box 12, Rehovot 76100, Israel
Ungar, E.D., Department of Agronomy and Natural Resources, Institute of Plant Sciences, Agricultural Research Organization - Volcani Center, P.O. Box 6, Bet Dagan 50250, Israel
Are semiarid shrubs resilient to drought and grazing? Differences and similarities among species and habitats in a long-term study
We assessed long-term effects of grazing cessation and drought on the shrub community of a semiarid ecosystem with a long history of grazing, located in the Mediterranean-to-desert transitional zone in Israel. Effects of grazing and drought on the cover of dominant (. Sarcopoterium spinosum) and subdominant (. Thymelaea hirsuta, Noaea mucronata and Coridothymus capitatus) shrubs were monitored during 12 years in four topographic habitats. With the exception of the toxic shrub T.hirsuta, shrub cover increased by a few (at most five) percentage points soon after the establishment of fenced plots to prevent grazing, but the difference in cover between protected and grazed plots did not increase subsequently. Response of the woody vegetation cover to the drought pulse was more complex because it was affected by both species and habitat; it showed patterns of steady decrease, transient decrease, and transient increase. Recovery after the drought pulse was relatively slow, and total shrub cover did not return to its predrought level within 7 years. Varied responses to drought and grazing preclude consideration of shrubs as a single response group. The findings heighten concern for the stability of the ecosystem in light of the increasing frequency of dry seasons predicted by climate-change models. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.
Scientific Publication
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