Post-fire response of shrews (Crocidura suaveolens) on Mount Carmel, Israel

A. Haim, A. Rozenfeld, I. Izhaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Resilience to fire of a shrew population (Crocidura suaveolens) was studied in a post-fire East Mediterranean pine forest on Mount Carmel, Israel. Since they are small body size secondary consumers, shrews can serve as bioindicators for assessing the various stages of post-fire recovery. Shrew abundance was correlated with abiotic and biotic variables. An attempt was also made to discover the response of population recovery under different postfire forest treatments: 'burned control' -untreated post fire plots; 'burned and clear' whereby burned pine trees and twigs are removed from the plots; 'burned and twigs' -whereby burned pine trees are removed but the twigs are kept accumulated in situ. Within two and a half years since fire, shrew population had established itself in all treatments. Activity was high in ambient temperatures close to their thermoneutral zone and at relatively high humidity. Only in burned control plots shrew populations correlated positively with the height of Pinus halepensis and Cistus salviifolius. Abundance was negatively correlated with the abundance of Mus macedonicus and positively correlated with that of Gerbillus dasyurus and Apodemus mystacinus. Time since fire rather than treatments is the most important factor in the recovery after fire of the shrew population, but seasonality seems to play an important role in shrew abundance as well.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)527-536
Number of pages10
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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