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Title: The impact of land reclamation on natural vegetation
Authors: Ayed Mohammad
Keywords: Water harvesting, above ground dry biomass, plant density, afforestation.
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: Hebron University
Abstract: This study evaluated the effects of different land reclamation practices (treatments) on vegetation characteristics in semi-arid to semi-humid conditions of the southern part of the West Bank, Palestine. For each treatment, the study evaluated the vegetation above ground dry biomass and plant density. Results showed that above ground biomass increased significantly (P ≤ 0.05) by 80 % and 45 % and plant density by 15% and 52 % in stone terrace plots and semi-circle bund plots, respectively, compared to the natural vegetation (excluded grazing) plot. In addition, grazing significantly reduced (P ≤ 0.05) the amount of dry biomass by 36% and plant density by 37 %. Our results indicated that the use of afforestation as a management option should be planned carefully for restoring the provision of ecosystem services of rangelands and that the type of trees should be considered when it is practiced. Pinus halepensis is not recommended for conservation of natural vegetation diversity. It was concluded that management decisions can have substantial influences upon vegetation diversity and production. Therefore, using simple water harvesting techniques and excluding grazing, for a period of time, may be key to increasing vegetation dry biomass and plant density, while at the same time conserving natural vegetation.
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