Log in

Editor's Picks

Ancient Oaks and Biodiveresity page 1
Aljos Farjon FLS reports on the biodiversity of High Park,...
Website Editor | Jun 28, 2024
David Oliver and the northernmost oak (to date)
Oaks found close to the 70th parallel north
DW Oliver | Jun 28, 2024
Action Oak Report 2023-24
Action Oak is a unique collaboration of charities,...
Annabel Narayanan | Jun 26, 2024

Plant Focus

Quercus peninsularis
A Red Oak (Section Lobatae) endemic to inland ranges of northern Baja California, Mexico

Oak Decline and Mortality in the Golan Heights

PDF icon Log in or register to access the full text.

Idan Kopler and Oded Bar-Shalom

Published May 2019 in International Oaks No. 30: 161–168


Forest tree decline has been reported worldwide and in Israel, and is related to regional and global climate change. In Israel, oak (Quercus spp.) decline has been documented in the Jerusalem Mts. in Galilee and in the Carmel.
Our research goal is to characterize the health status of oak populations in the Golan Heights under regional stress factors. This was achieved using three plots through stand structure survey and monitoring the water regime of oaks in various stages of decline. In total, 962 oaks were sampled to examine rates of decline during 2016-2017. Negligible measures of decline and a lack of tree mortality were observed in the northern Golan. Total canopy loss of almost 20% and high measures of Quercus ithaburensis (Tabor oak) mortality were recorded in the central and southern Golan populations. Midday stem water potential values were significantly lower in symptomatic trees, though only in the Q. ithaburensis woodlands. At the plot scale, the lack of a significant difference in the mean stem water potential between healthy and symptomatic trees indicates a large hydraulic plasticity.


stem water potential, Quercus calliprinos, Quercus coccifera subsp. calliprinos, Quercus ithaburensis, Quercus boissieri, Quercus infectoria subsp. veneris


Adams, H.D., C.H. Luce, D.D Breshears, C.D. Allen, M. Weiler, V.C. Hale, A.M.S. Smith, and T.E. Huxman. 2012. Ecohydrological consequences of drought‐ and infestation‐triggered tree die‐off: insights and hypotheses. Ecohydrology 5(2): 145-59. 

Allen, C.D., A.K. Macalady, H. Chenchouni, D. Bachelet, N. McDowell, M. Vennetier, T. Kitzberger, A. Rigling, D.D. Breshears, E.H..T. Hogg, P. Gonzalez, R. Fensham, Z. Zhang, J. Castro, N. Demidova, J.-H. Lim, G. Allard, S.W. Running, A. Semerci, and N. Cobb. 2010. A global overview of drought and heat-induced tree mortality reveals emerging climate change risks for forests. Forest ecology and management 259(4): 660-684.

Anderegg, W.R.L., J.M. Kane, and L.D.L. Anderegg. 2013. Consequences of widespread tree mortality triggered by drought and temperature stress. Nature Climate Change 3: 30-36. doi: 10.1038/NCLIMATE1635

Chone, X., C. Van Leeuwen, D. Dubourdieu, and J.P. Gaudillère. 2001. Stem Water Potential is a Sensitive Indicator of Grapevine Water Status. Annals of Botany 87(4): 477-483. ‏

Hacket-Pain, A.J., L. Cavin, A.D. Friend, and A.S. Jump. 2016. Consistent limitation of growth by high temperature and low precipitation from range core to southern edge of European beech indicates widespread vulnerability to changing climate. European Journal of Forest Research 135(5): 897-909.

Herr, N. 2009. Dehydration and mortality of Tabor oak trees from natural sources in settlements and forests (in Hebrew). Published online at www.nirforestecosoil.com/oaks-dehdration

Israel Hydrological Service. 2016. http://geocradle.eu/platform/stakeholder/israeli-hydrological-service/

McDowell, N.G., Fisher, R.A., C. Xu, J.C. Domec, T. Hölttä, D.S. Mackay, J.S. Sperry, A.Boutz, L. Dickman, N. Gehres, J.M. Limousin, A. Macalady, J. Martínez-Vilalta, M. Mencuccini, J.A. Plaut, J. Ogée, R.E. Pangle, D.P. Rasse, M.G. Ryan, S. Sevanto, R.H. Waring, A. P. Williams, E.A. Yepez, and W.T. Pockman. 2013. Evaluating theories of drought-induced vegetation mortality using a multimodel–experiment framework. New Phytologist 200(2): 304-321.

Navon, Y., L. Hadar, H. Muklada, and J. Grünzweig. 2015. Long Term Oak monitoring in Ramat Hanadiv 2009-2015. Published online at www.ramat-handav.org.

Sever, N., and G. Neeman. 2008. Dehydration and recovery of Quercus calliprinos in Israel following consecutive drought years. Yaar 10: 10-16.

Thomas, F.M. 2008. Recent advances in cause-effect research on oak decline in Europe. CAB Reviews: Perspectives in Agriculture, Veterinary Science, Nutrition and Natural Resources 3 (037): 1-12.

Thomas, F.M., R. Blank, and G. Hartmann. 2002. Abiotic and biotic factors and their interactions as causes of oak decline in Central Europe. Forest Pathology 32: 277-307.