eLTER Grand Campaign: Exploring the Israeli desert
8 May 2023
Israel was the first country to be visited by the eLTER Grand Campaign team for photo and video documentation of the research being done there, as well as the flora, fauna and landscape. As much as the team would like to present its journey as an adventure, it survived the harsh environment of the Israeli desert in the comfort of air-conditioned transport and accommodation. So don't let them tell you otherwise!
Nevertheless, it was a real challenge to capture the essence of an ecosystem that is vastly different from what most European researchers and networks are used to. The GC team visited two sites:
(1) Park Shaked (PSK), LTSER Northern Negev where research focuses on (but not only): long-term experiments (up to 20 years) for monitoring changes in abundance, diversity, species composition and distribution, and development of biological soil crusts, hydrological studies on the rainfall-runoff relationship under natural and manipulation experiments, cross scale-cross level interactions in the natural and human-modified landscape, and global comparison of woody plant diversity effects on ecosystem functionality of most dryland regions of the world.
(2) Ramon (RMN) where research focuses on biodiversity, climate change, and runoff hydrology. The arid zone is a geo-hydrological ecological system that is dependent on a combination of rainfall and runoff that creates water-enriched parches that support relatively high biodiversity.
You can track the progress of the Grand Campaign on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, but especially on the newly created eLTER Instagram page. Just search for these hashtags #GrandCampaign #eLTERgc #eLTERGrandCampaign.