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  1. 1 Jan 2024 Journal Article CATENA

    Ancient agricultural terrace walls control floods and regulate the distribution of Asphodelus ramosus geophytes in the Israeli arid Negev

    Ilan Stavi, Shay Eldad, Chi Xu, Zhiwei Xu, Yulia Gusarov, Mordechai Haiman, Eli Argaman
    Abstract

    Ancient stone terrace walls aimed at harvesting water runoff and facilitating crop production are widespread across the drylands of the Middle East and beyond. In addition to retaining the scarce water resource, the terrace walls also conserve soil and thicken its profile along ephemeral stream channels (wadis) by decreasing fluvial connectivity and mitigating erosional

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  2. 26 Dec 2023 Journal Article New Forests

    Cover cropping to prepare degraded lands for forestry: challenges and opportunities

    Ilan Stavi, I Bebre, A Dimitrova, J Stanturf
    Abstract

    Cover cropping is practiced in conservation agriculture to preserve soil and water resources, alleviate soil compaction, sequester organic carbon, and control weeds. Meanwhile, cover cropping is rarely used in forestry, probably due to the lack of awareness of this management practice. In this short essay, we discuss the concept of utilizing cover crops to prepare

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  3. 12 Nov 2023 Journal Article Sustainable Environment

    Analysis of herbal medicine among Bedouin of the Saint Catherine Protectorate (southern Sinai Peninsula) and its comparison to modern drug design

    Rivka Ofir, Roni Lev, Miriam Ron, Ilan Stavi
    Abstract

    The Saint Catherine region of southern Sinai Peninsula’s drylands encompasses a unique combination of geophysical conditions. These features have formed highly diverse habitats, which support extremely complex plant communities. Throughout history, the local Bedouin population has used many of these plants for therapeutic purposes. The objectives of this study were to

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  4. 1 Nov 2023 Journal Article Journal of Environmental Management

    Unexpected consequences of afforestation in degraded drylands: Divergent impacts on soil and vegetation

    Ilan Stavi, Khandakar R Islam, Mohammad A Rahman, Yulia Gusarov, Jawad Laham, Orr Comay, Uri Basson, Chi Xu, Zhiwei Xu, Eli Argaman
    Abstract

    Forestry has long been considered an effective means of restoring degraded drylands worldwide. Often, afforestation in such lands relies on the establishment of runoff harvesting systems that are formed as contour bench terraces on hillslopes, increasing water availability for the planted trees and shrubs. The construction of terraces requires intensive earthworks by

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  5. 30 Jul 2023 Journal Article Flora

    Ring formation in Stipagrostis obtusa in the arid north-eastern Negev, Israel

    Hezi Yizhaq, Ilan Stavi
    Abstract

    In drylands, particularly in sandy environments, clonal plants occasionally develop into ring patterns that slowly expand radially, leaving bare soil in the ring's center. Several mechanisms have been suggested to explain ring formation, and yet it is very difficult to find out the dominant driving mechanism for each specific ecosystem. This study is the first to assess

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  6. 22 Jul 2023 Journal Article Agronomy

    Runoff Mitigation in Croplands: Evaluating the Benefits of Straw Mulching and Polyacrylamide Techniques

    Eli Argaman, Ilan Stavi
    Abstract

    Water loss through surface runoff is a significant constraint for rainfed agricultural lands across the Mediterranean region. Using straw-mulch cover (SMC) as a runoff mitigator has been successfully utilized to negate the impact of raindrop splashing. However, this practice is uncommon due to the high demand for crop residue as feed or fodder for livestock. Therefore

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  7. 14 Jul 2023 Journal Article Frontiers in Environmental Science

    Subsurface geodiversity determines shrub resilience vs. mortality under long-term droughts in the Israeli Negev drylands

    Uri Basson, Eli Argaman, Hezi Yizhaq, Chi Xu, Zhiwei Xu, Ilan Stavi
    Abstract

    Shrubs, encompassing important ecosystem engineers in dryland environments, have experienced mass mortality due to long-term droughts across the northwestern Israeli Negev. This massive die-back, which has particularly affected the predominant shrub species Noaea mucronata, predominates edaphically homogeneous (low geodiversity) hillslopes, and is minor in edaphically

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  8. Jun 2023 Journal Article The Anthropocene Review

    Climate-smart forestry in the world's drylands: A review of challenges and opportunities

    Ilan Stavi, Chi Xu, Eli Argaman
    Abstract

    Land degradation and desertification are widespread across the world’s drylands. These processes are substantially affected by climatic change, with long-term and severe droughts on the one hand, and high intensity rainstorms and devastating floods on the other hand. Simultaneously, land-use change and mismanagement practices have led to processes of accelerated soil

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  9. 11 Mar 2023 Journal Article Journal of Geographical Sciences

    Long-term passive restoration of severely degraded drylands — divergent impacts on soil and vegetation: An Israeli case study

    Ilan Stavi, M Pulido Fernández, Eli Argaman
    Abstract

    Land degradation affects extensive drylands around the world. Due to long-term misuse, the Israeli Sde Zin dryland site has faced severe degradation. The study objective was to assess the feasibility of passive restoration in recovering the site. The study was conducted in four land-units along a preservation-degradation continuum: (1) an area that has not faced

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  10. 10 Feb 2023 Journal Article All Earth

    Urgent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions is needed to avoid irreversible tipping points: time is running out

    Abstract

    This essay addresses climate change and its main causes over the last three decades. Between 1992–2021, global emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) have risen continually. Specifically, the major socioeconomic sectors – including (1) energy, (2) industry, (3) land-use/land-use change/agriculture, (4) transportation, (5) building/construction, and (6) waste treatment/disposal

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