IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The effects of disturbance based management on the dynamics of Mediterranean vegetation: A hierarchical and spatially explicit modeling approach


  • Bar Massada, Avi
  • Carmel, Yohay
  • Koniak, Gili
  • Noy-Meir, Imanuel


The eastern Mediterranean region has been subjected to intensive human disturbance in the past 10,000 years, mainly in the forms of agro-pastoral activities such as grazing, shrub clearing, and prescribed burning. This disturbance history resulted in the formation of highly heterogeneous landscapes, characterized by high biodiversity. Recent changes in human activities have resulted in a decrease of landscape heterogeneity, leading to decreasing biodiversity and increasing fire risk. To conserve heterogeneity, land managers apply disturbance based management practices, using the same activities that created and maintained landscape heterogeneity in the past. However, the long-term and large-scale outcomes of these disturbances are often unknown, due to the complex response of Mediterranean vegetation to disturbance. Here we report on a spatially explicit, hybrid, and spatially hierarchical ecological model developed by us. The model attempts to predict the outcome of various disturbance based management activities on the long-term spatio-temporal dynamics of five common Mediterranean vegetation types. The model uses a spatially explicit state and transition formulation, with continuous transition functions. Model simulations were conducted on a Mediterranean landscape in Northern Israel, incorporating various disturbance practices that are common in the region. Simulation results highlight the potential of disturbance based management as a tool for conserving landscape heterogeneity, as well as the complex interactions between disturbances and the spatial structure of the landscape in Mediterranean regions.

Suggested Citation

  • Bar Massada, Avi & Carmel, Yohay & Koniak, Gili & Noy-Meir, Imanuel, 2009. "The effects of disturbance based management on the dynamics of Mediterranean vegetation: A hierarchical and spatially explicit modeling approach," Ecological Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 220(19), pages 2525-2535.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecomod:v:220:y:2009:i:19:p:2525-2535
    DOI: 10.1016/j.ecolmodel.2009.06.002

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Koniak, Gili & Noy-Meir, Imanuel, 2009. "A hierarchical, multi-scale, management-responsive model of Mediterranean vegetation dynamics," Ecological Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 220(8), pages 1148-1158.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. King, Elizabeth G. & Franz, Trenton E., 2016. "Combining ecohydrologic and transition probability-based modeling to simulate vegetation dynamics in a semi-arid rangeland," Ecological Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 329(C), pages 41-63.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:ecomod:v:220:y:2009:i:19:p:2525-2535. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Haili He). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.