New Methodology for Quantifying the Effects of Perennials on Their Patch Productivity in Semi-arid Environments

Amir Mor-Mussery, Stefan Leu, Arie Budovsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


The correlations between perennials and the herbaceous productivity in patches occupied by them were previously studied and several descriptive models were defined. Yet these studies focused on either single or several species without analyzing higher numbers and ranking their effects. Here we describe a handy analytical methodology which allows separating the effects of each perennial species on herbaceous productivity at its respective patches from those of the others in a given area, even in case of complex patches containing several species. The described methodology also allows analysts to correlate the effect of perennials to their patch sizes and the respective herbaceous biomass. Additional mathematical analysis presented here succeeded in differentiating between the perennial species stand-alone presence effect on the herbaceous productivity and that attributed to the canopy size. In addition, the effects of location along the slope and its rockiness outlines were studied. As a case study, we chose representative sloped shrubland with rockiness outlines, located in Yattir farm, Northern Negev, Israel. Based on the described analyses we found that the species with the highest positive effects on the herbaceous productivity were Echinops polyceras, Echium angustifolium, and Salvia lanigera. Contradictory effects were observed in case of Thymelea hirsute, Anchusa ramosus, and Noaea mucronata. Collectively, the presented methodology could be an important management tool for monitoring the herbaceous biomass amounts in a given shrubland.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1139-1146
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Management
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2015


  • Hilly outlines
  • Patch productivity
  • Perennials canopy size
  • Rockiness outlines
  • Shrubland productivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Ecology
  • Pollution


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