The research undertaken at Ramat Hanadiv has three goals:
1. To provide a scientific basis for the management activities applied in the park;
2. To add new dimensions and fields of content to our educational work
3. To enrich scientific knowledge in Israel and around the world.
Since 1984 a large number of studies have been carried out in the park, enriching existing knowledge in diverse fields. In the initial phase the research objectives were to enhance knowledge about Ramat Hanadiv by studying the ecosystem and understanding the ecological and human processes that take place in the area. The intention was that this knowledge would subsequently be translated into management programs and educational activities. As the foundation of scientific knowledge expanded, we developed an approach based on active management operations, supported by monitoring and research, which enable us to gauge the ramifications of our management operations on the ecosystem and to update these activities accordingly (“adaptive management.”)
In 1991, for example, a fuel-break zone was established between Ramat Hanadiv and the neighboring town in order to reduce fire damage. In the fuel-break zone, shrubs are manually cut down and cattle are introduced for intensive grazing. The knowledge regarding the grazing pressure and clearing frequency required to maintain the fuel-break zone was achieved using the “adaptive management” approach, by monitoring the regeneration of shrubs and the herbaceous biomass at different grazing pressures.
Alongside research designed to examine the optimum management model for the area (“management support research,”) we also undertook research to evaluate the ecological cost of the management activities operated in the park. For example, regarding the example of the fuel-break zone mentioned above, we conducted several studies examining the impact of the management activities in this area on biodiversity of various groups. Other studies examined additional aspects of human activity in the area, such as the impact of visitors on soil characteristics.