NCEAS Project 8340

The role of plants as landscape modulators in controlling biodiversity

  • Moshe Shachak

ActivityDatesFurther Information
Sabbatical Fellow1st July—30th September 2004Participant List  
Sabbatical Fellow28th January—7th April 2005Participant List  

The issue of biodiversity has received increasing attention as a consequence of the unprecedented loss of species and their habitats in response to environmental changes. A central, frontier topic in biodiversity studies concerns the factors controlling the flow of species from regional pools to local assemblages. My main assumption is that the filtering of species is determined, to a large extent, by a few major species that modify the landscape mosaic, termed Landscape Modulators. I propose to compile ideas and data on the effects of different types of Landscape Modulators, their spatial patterns and their filtering strength on various taxa of plants and animals. The aim of my work at NCEAS is to explore patterns, based on literature review and on long term available data, in order to develop a framework for a theory concerning the effect of organism-induced landscape modulation on landscapes, resources and organisms. My program aims for a synthesis of community and landscape ecology approaches. This study will advance the discipline of biodiversity by developing an approach to integrating species and landscape diversities through the activities of a few dominant modulators that control landscape functioning. This study will contribute to: (1) conservation, restoration and management of landscape and species diversity; (2) predicting responses in terms of species richness to environmental changes (climate and land use) at different landscape scales; and (3) creation of a biodiversity management policy.

TypeProducts of NCEAS Research
Presentations Shachak, Moshe. 2005. A multi scale overlook: From patch to ecosystem management in the Mediterranean region. Active Management of Mediterranean Ecosystems: Upscaling the Lesson from Ramat Hanadiv, 11-14 April 2005.
Presentations Shachak, Moshe. 2005. Nebkha formation, sand dunes modulation and biodiversity at Nitzzanim. LTER Workshop, 15 May 2005.
Journal Article Shachak, Moshe; Boeken, Bertrand; Groner, Elli; Kadmon, Ronen; Lubin, Yael; Meron, Ehud; Ne'eman, Gidi; Perevolotsky, Avi; Shkedy, Yehoshua; Ungar, Eugene. 2008. Woody species as landscape modulators and their effect on biodiversity patterns. BioScience. Vol: 58(3). Pages 209-221.