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THE EFFECTS OF GRAZING AND FIRE ON DEGRADATION PROCESSES OF MEDITERRANEAN ECOSYSTEMS

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image of Israel Journal of Plant Sciences

The effects of grazing and fire were studied in lowland pastures at Thessaly, Central Greece. Five community types, which occur in an area of 1250 ha, experience different grazing pressure and fire frequencies. Comparing the vegetation characteristics of the five studied communities, we found that grazing increased the cover of undesirable species, while frequent fires resulted in a drastic decrease of the woody species cover. The studied communities were ordinated by Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA). Grazing pressure conditions the data distribution along the first two axes, while frequency of fires conditions the data distribution along the first axis. A degradation model and three possible scenarios of change are proposed. This model shows that the divergence of the final degraded stages depends on the intensity of the main human impacts, although the initial stage and the climatic and soil conditions are the same.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Ecology, School of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

10.1080/0021213X.1992.10677230
/content/journals/10.1080/0021213x.1992.10677230
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/content/journals/10.1080/0021213x.1992.10677230
1992-05-13
2018-06-23

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