Integrated management of heterogeneous landscape-Mediterranean Israel as a study case

Avi Perevolotsky*, Efrat Sheffer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Natural and semi-natural landscapes usually serve varied land uses, including grazing, forestry, recreation, and nature or biodiversity protection. In most cases areas with differing land uses are managed by different agencies, with differing perspectives, goals, and operating methodologies. In his teaching, Imanuel Noy-Meir emphasized the ecological basis of the management of principal land-use practices (forests, rangelands, nature reserves) in Mediterranean Israel, and advocated ecological thinking to achieve better management and to minimize inter-agency conflicts. We propose a broader framework for integrated management of multiple uses by adoption of a landscape perspective that cuts across administrative lines. The reasoning for taking such an approach is based on the newly developing understanding of the impact of dynamic processes that occur spontaneously on a large scale in Mediterranean Israel. Landscape-scale interactions-oak woodland succession and pine colonization-may interfere or even conflict with some management goals set by the agencies involved. Attempts to mitigate these interactions may be very costly or ineffective. We propose coordinated management, planning, and implementation, based on common ecological criteria. We base this paper on observations and on perceptions gained from analyzing landscape dynamics of the predominant ecosystems in Mediterranean Israel: dense oak woodland and planted pine forests. The small size of Israel and the consequently small size of different land-use units, as well as their close proximity to each other, call for coordination of the organizational perspectives that relate at present independently to the various units. The new perspective should be broader, regional, landscape-oriented, and should take into consideration ecological processes that integrate neighboring units. As a first step, all agencies involved should accept the pine-oak interaction and dynamics as part of the local succession and should adapt their management schemes accordingly.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)111-128
Number of pages18
JournalIsrael Journal of Ecology and Evolution
Issue number1-2
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2011


  • Mediterranean Israel
  • Noy-Meir
  • forestry
  • grazing
  • land-use change
  • landscape
  • landscape management
  • nature reserves


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