Biodiversity of reptiles at "evolution canyon", lower nahal oren, Mount Carmel, Israel

Eviatar Nevo, Shmuel Raz, Avigdor Beiles

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Biodiversity research programs at "Evolution Canyon", Lower Nahal Oren, Mount Carmel, Israel, attempt to unravel divergent evolutionary patterns that are due to sharp interslope microclimatic differences. The south-facing slope (SF) is warmer, drier, and more variable, than the north-facing slope (NF). Here we describe the results of a study of reptile biodiversity conducted during 20 excursions from October 1993 to September 1994. Three hundred and eight individuals were recorded, representing 14 species at 7 stations, 3 on SF, 3 on NF, and one on the valley bottom. Reptiles were more active on SF on 11 days, whereas on 3 days, higher activity was recorded on NF. SF exhibited higher species richness than NF , 13 versus 8 species, respectively. The three species that were found more frequently on NF belonged to European genera. The other species belonged to Asian, African, or East Mediterranean genera. This pattern of abundance has also been demonstrated at this site for other taxa.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-402
Number of pages8
JournalIsrael Journal of Zoology
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1996

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are deeply indebted to J. Hoofien and Y.L. Werner for critically commenting on the manuscript. For financial support, we thank the Ministry of Science and the Arts (grants 4147-1-93 and 1426), the Israel Discount Bank Chair of Evolutionary Biology, and the Ancell-Teicher Research Foundation for Genetics and Molecular Evolution.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Animal Science and Zoology


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