June 5, 2024 — In a new study conducted in the Be’eri forest, near Kibbutz Re’im, Yuval Neumann and Dr. Niv DeMalach from the Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food, and Environment at the Hebrew University examined the impact of three Eucalyptus species: E. camaldulensis, E. loxophleba, and E. torquate. The researchers aimed to investigate the impact of these trees on herbaceous plant communities.

The Western Negev region of Israel, characterized by its extensive Eucalyptus plantations, has been the subject of ongoing debates due to Eucalypti being an alien species. Eucalyptus is famous for allelopathy (the chemical inhibition of one plant species by another), which can significantly impact local vegetation.

In the study, the researchers found three key findings: under the Eucalypti canopy, there was a significant reduction in herbaceous biomass observed, even when controlling for shading; there was a negative impact on the flowering density of red anemones (A. coronaria); and Eucalypti provide numerous ecosystem services, such as security-forestation, nectar, and shade. The study also found major differences in the three Eucalyptus species’ effects on herbaceous communities. E. torquata had a negative effect on biodiversity, while the other two species did not show an effect.

Given the findings, the researchers advise caution in planting certain Eucalyptus species in areas intended for tourism and in regions home to rare or protected species. They also recommend prioritizing species with minimal impact on reforestation efforts.

The research paper titled “The effects of Eucalyptus on herbaceous plant communities in the Western Negev” is available in Hebrew at Ecology and Environment here.


  • Yuval Neumann and Niv DeMalach
  • Institution: The Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food, and Environment, The Hebrew University in Jerusalem (Israel)