Chemical evolution and vegetation response in an altered wetland ecosystem, Hula Valley, Israel (1988-2004)

Dror Avisar, Adam S. Fox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The Hula Nature Reserve (HNR) (0.3 km 2) in northern Israel is a semiarid wetland ecosystem within the greater Hula Valley. In the 1950s, approximately 60 km 2 of wetlands were drained and converted to farmland. The HNR was established during this time to preserve some of the native flora and fauna. Agricultural runoff and a reflooding of the area with peat water in 1999 resulted in high sulfate (SO 4 2-) concentrations of 66.67 ± 4.00 mg/L. We identified the existence of SO 4 2-, nitrate (NO 3 -), and ammonium (NH 4 +) nutrient gradients as well as related mechanisms affecting the growth and dieback of Cyperus papyrus. The observed changes in the C. papyrus populations were caused primarily by fluctuations in SO 4 2-. After two key events that affected levels of SO 4 2- in the HNR, C. papyrus coverage was altered by more than 80%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1096-1103
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Environmental Science and Health - Part A Toxic/Hazardous Substances and Environmental Engineering
Volume47
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2012

Keywords

  • Altered wetlands
  • Cyperus papyrus
  • Nutrient gradient
  • Peat water
  • Semiarid wetlands

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