Restoration of Coastal Sand Dunes for Conservation of Biodiversity: The Israeli Experience
Two-thirds of the coastal dune area along the Israeli Mediterranean Sea has been lost owing to intensive urbanization and infrastructure development. The remaining dunes are fragmented and only a small part of them have been declared protected. Nizzanim LTER is the largest nature reserve (2,000 ha). Because of low wind velocity in the area, the dunes are experiencing a stabilization process followed by a reduction in the characteristic biodiversity and a shift in desert and psammophilic organisms into characteristic Mediterranean, opportunists and generalists’ species. In order to inhibit the complete stabilization of the entire dunes and to conserve the characteristic biodiversity of the nature reserve, the perennial vegetation was removed from several stabilized dunes in order to reactivate them to a mobile state and to encourage the re-establishment of sand-dwelling organisms. Four years later, the treated dunes are very different from the mobile or semi-stabilized dunes, but are still similar to the stabilized dunes.
KeywordsSand Dune Woody Vegetation Coastal Dune Mobile Dune Coastal Sand Dune
I want to sincerely thank the following organizations, colleagues, and students who funded and supported the restoration program and research at Nizzanim LTER Nature Reserve.
The Jewish National Fund (JNF) and the Nature and Parks Authority; my dear friends and colleagues, Dr. Amos Bouskila who was in charge of the small mammals and reptiles, Dr. Elli Groner who was in charge of the arthropods, and Dr. Amnon Friedberg who was in charge of the flying insects.
My great and ambitious students who were so keen to be part of this conservation and restoration program, Adi Ramot, Meirav Perry, Ittai Renan, Tarin Paz, Boaz Shacham, Constantin Grach, and all the undergraduate students who helped with the field work.
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