Controls on plant functional surface cover types along a precipitation gradient in the Negev Desert of Israel

E. Buis, A. Veldkamp, B. Boeken, N. van Breemen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We studied the controls on functional surface cover types in four catchments along a semi-arid to arid precipitation gradient in the northern Negev Desert of Israel. First, we selected four functional types, based on their unique water use and redistribution functionality: shrubs, Asphodelus ramosus, other herbaceous plants and surface crusts. We estimated percentage of surface covered by these functional types and by bedrock outcrops and loose surface stones. Additionally data was collected on soil depth, relative elevation, insolation, slope, curvature, and overlain with surface cover maps. Relations between functional types and landscape structure variables were analyzed with descriptive statistics. The landscape structure variables bedrock, relative elevation, soil depth and surface stones explained most of the cover variance in the catchments. In catchments with many bedrock outcrops, functional types were best explained by the landscape structure variables. In catchments with homogeneous soils reaching beyond the root zone, the biological interactions between functional types were more important. Along the precipitation gradient the explanatory power of the biological variables decreased with decreasing precipitation, while the explanatory power of landscape structure variables appeared unrelated. Only in homogeneous semi-arid catchments regular vegetation patterns can develop, in arid and heterogeneous catchments irregular patterns dominate.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-90
JournalJournal of Arid Environments
Volume73
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Fingerprint

Israel
deserts
desert
landscape structure
catchment
bedrock
soil depth
outcrop
Asphodelus
herbaceous plants
insolation
herb
curvature
water use
rhizosphere
solar radiation
soil surface
shrub
statistics
shrubs

Keywords

  • biological soil crusts
  • arid ecosystems
  • water redistribution
  • spatial-distribution
  • asphodelus-aestivus
  • climatic gradient
  • rock fragments
  • vegetation
  • infiltration
  • resilience

Cite this

Buis, E. ; Veldkamp, A. ; Boeken, B. ; van Breemen, N. / Controls on plant functional surface cover types along a precipitation gradient in the Negev Desert of Israel. In: Journal of Arid Environments. 2009 ; Vol. 73, No. 1. pp. 82-90.
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abstract = "We studied the controls on functional surface cover types in four catchments along a semi-arid to arid precipitation gradient in the northern Negev Desert of Israel. First, we selected four functional types, based on their unique water use and redistribution functionality: shrubs, Asphodelus ramosus, other herbaceous plants and surface crusts. We estimated percentage of surface covered by these functional types and by bedrock outcrops and loose surface stones. Additionally data was collected on soil depth, relative elevation, insolation, slope, curvature, and overlain with surface cover maps. Relations between functional types and landscape structure variables were analyzed with descriptive statistics. The landscape structure variables bedrock, relative elevation, soil depth and surface stones explained most of the cover variance in the catchments. In catchments with many bedrock outcrops, functional types were best explained by the landscape structure variables. In catchments with homogeneous soils reaching beyond the root zone, the biological interactions between functional types were more important. Along the precipitation gradient the explanatory power of the biological variables decreased with decreasing precipitation, while the explanatory power of landscape structure variables appeared unrelated. Only in homogeneous semi-arid catchments regular vegetation patterns can develop, in arid and heterogeneous catchments irregular patterns dominate.",
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Controls on plant functional surface cover types along a precipitation gradient in the Negev Desert of Israel. / Buis, E.; Veldkamp, A.; Boeken, B.; van Breemen, N.

In: Journal of Arid Environments, Vol. 73, No. 1, 2009, p. 82-90.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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