Jessica Schaeckermann. Dr
LTSER & Agro-Ecology
Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) has been going around the world for 35 years and investigates different ecological questions. The vision for Long Term Socio Ecological Research (LTSER) platforms is to represent entire regions in the sense of cultural, historical, natural, administrational, economic and land-use units. The social factor is an important part of these platforms, therefore it combines ecological, social and political research and covers a much wider field than LTER sites. The research agendas are adapted to regional and local needs and the regional population is the beneficiaries of the knowledge produced by managing the platform in an open communication space and implementing trans-disciplinary and participatory approaches. Pro-active involvement of the research community on the regional, national and international level enables such approach. The Arava LTSER platform is part of the international LTSER network and tries to produce applicable knowledge for the residents of the Arava towards a sustainable desert community. Since March 2018 Jessi Shakerman is the director of the Arava LTSER platform. Her research focuses on nature management and interaction between open spaces, agriculture areas and sustainable development in the Arava region.
Agro-ecology deals with all ecological topics connected to agriculture, like: how to use and improve ecosystem services in agriculture and how to avoid ecosystem disservices. Ecosystem services to agriculture include biological pest control and wild pollination while crop predation by wild animals is an example for ecosystem disservices. The Agriculture R&D is surveying these services and disservices.
The date plantations in the Arava suffer from the date moth, causing crop damage and destroy big amounts of the date fruits. Night active bats may mitigate this disservice by predating on the moth. A project evaluating the impact of bats as pest control agents in dates in the Arava is ongoing in cooperation with Ben Gurion University of the Negev.
We furthermore investigate possible pest control agents against tobacco thrips (predatory mites that live in the soil are a possible service agent) and improving wild pollination for agriculture in a desert environment (investigating the potential of naturally occurring desert plant species to attract wild pollinators to be used in crop pollination).
- Karp, D. S., Chaplin-Kramer, R., Meehan, T. D., Martin, E. A., DeClerck, F., Grab, H., …Schäckermann, J., … Zou, Y. (2018). Crop pests and predators exhibit inconsistent responses to surrounding landscape composition. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 115(33), E7863–E7870. LINK
- Schäckermann, J., Mandelik, Y., Weiss, N., Wehrden, H. von & Klein, A.-M. (2015a) Natural habitat does not mediate vertebrate seed predation as an ecosystem dis-service to agriculture. Journal of Applied Ecology, 52, 291-299. doi: 10.1111/1365–2664.12402.
- Schäckermann, J., Pufal, G., Mandelik, Y. & Klein, A.-M. (2015b) Agro-ecosystem services and dis-services partially influenced by the surrounding landscape. Ecological Entomology, 40, 12-21. doi: 10.1111/een.12244.
- Schäckermann, J., Weiss, N., Wehrden, H. von & Klein, A.-M. (2014) High trees increase sunflower seed predation by birds in an agricultural landscape of Israel. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution, 2, doi: 10.3389/fevo.2014.00035.