Establishing a Fuel break zone A wide strip of land that separates between the area of Ramat Hanadiv and the adjacent Zikhron Ya’akov forms a fuel break zone. Trees and shrubs are heavily thinned in the zone, and cattle are introduced in late spring, in order to create a fire barrier and thus minimize fire damage.
Management of Fuel Breaks in the Israeli Mediterranean Ecosystem: The Case of Ramat Hanadiv Park
Avi Perevolotsky, Racheli Schwartz-Tzachor, Rafi Yonatan, and Eran Ettinger
Ecology and Environment, vol. 6, nos. 3-4 (March 2001): pp. 248-251 [original Hebrew article]
Abstract (p. 251)
This study evaluates the effectiveness of different management alternatives – shrub removal, cattle grazing and combined shrub removal and grazing – in maintaining fuel breaks in dense Mediterranean shrublands. Shrub removal plus grazing proved to be the most effective treatment; it delays full recovery of woody vegetation for the longest period (approx. 20 years). Shrub removal without grazing let the shrubland to return to the original cover after 6 years. Grazing removed more than 80% of the herbaceous biomass but had a short-term effect on the regeneration rate of shrubs that lasted 2 years. Full recovery of the shrubland under heavy cattle grazing took 7 years. Recovery dynamics is species-dependent but the dominant shrubs fully recover both laterally and vertically within 7 years after removal. This study helps in laying the operational basis for an effective establishment and management of fuel breaks in Mediterranean woody ecosystems.
Avi Perevolotsky: Department of Agronomy and Natural Resources, Agricultural Research Organization, The Volcani Center; and Israel Nature and Parks Authority Racheli Schwartz-Tzachor: SPNI and Yad Hanadiv