Ecological Processes Enhancing Sustainable Grazing in Semiarid Ecosystems
Investigators (most current known information)
The overall goal of the demonstration project was to educate the public about the ecological ramifications of grazing systems. By doing so, an understanding for enhancing sustainable grazing in semiarid ecosystems should develop. The demonstration is based on long-term research that defines the relationship among habitat, rainfall regime, annual and perennial vegetation, grazing intensity and landscape structure in semiarid regions. The types of data collected in the long-term research at Lehavim include environmental parameters, vegetation characteristics, ecological features and management practice.
Furthermore, we built the demonstration by interaction between in-field and virtual study activities using an Internet site specifically prepared for this project. The demonstration project was composed of 3 principal activities: integration of information gathered in various studies held at Lehavim or other relevant information; in-field courses for different target groups (teachers, university students, and high school students); and the establishment of a specific Website (in English). The address of the Website is http://www.bgu.ac.il/desert_ecology/LTER/LTER?LEHAVIM/index.html.
In previous reports we described the various activities carried out at the demonstration station in each of these fields. In the first stage, we integrated the scientific information concerning: 1) the structure and function of semiarid grazing systems, 2) the effects of climate, habitat and grazing on vegetation and soil properties, 3) principles of sustainable rangeland ecosystem management in semiarid lands, and 4) the relationships among human culture, economy and rangeland in the Middle East. I the second stage the basic components of the Website were decided. As an outcome the Lehavim Website currently includes the following sections: 1) entrance to the Website, 2) the demonstration farm, 3) research activities, 4) educational activities, 5) herd/farm management, and 6) meteorological station. The third report described teachers and student training at the Lehavim demonstration station.
As it stands, the demonstration program developed at Lehavim proved to be beneficial for: high school/university students - by demonstrating the basic principles of ecology and rangeland management in the field; teachers - by helping them to use the local setting for teaching principles of ecology, exploitation of natural resources and the principles of sustainable use; scientists - by demonstrating the linkage between pure and applied ecology; and managers by demonstrating practical methods for sustainable rangeland management under dry conditions.
Perevolotsky, A. 28 January 2005. "Lehavim - Bedouin demonstration and research site." Electronic Style. http://www.bgu.ac.il/desert_ecology/LTER/LTER-LEHAVIM/index.html (28 January 2005).