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Biodiversity studies for ecological management in a Mediterranean mountain site. Joint German-Israeli Research Projects Final scientific report

By L. Blaustein, E. (Haifa Univ. (Israel). Inst. of Evolution) Nevc, B. Breckling and W. Windhorst

Abstract

Over the past three years, we conducted many studies to understand spatial and temporal patterns in nature. This included patterns of specific alleles, genetic diversity, abundances of specific species and community structure. Much of the work took place in Nahal Oren, referred to as 'Evolution Canyon' (sensu Nevo 1995). We quantitatively documented that the South-facing slope (SFS) is warmer, drier and more variable than the North-facing slope (NFS). On the basis of on these environmental differences, we predicted and showed that genetic diversity was greater on the SFS over a wide taxonomic range. We predicted and showed that species richness of terrestrial (but not 'aquatic-dependent') taxonomic groups was higher on the SFS. We predicted and showed low community overlap between slopes over a wide taxonomic range: species originating from Africa were more abundant on the SFS while 'European' species were more abundant on the NFS. Differential phenologies and developmental rates of many plants and animals were evident on opposing slopes. For example, Hyla savignyi tadpoles exhibited developmental plasticity, metamorphosing faster and at a smaller size on the SFS. Drosophila populations from the two slopes responded differently in temperature selection experiments indicating that microclimatic natural selection overrides migration in Drosophila at this microsite. (orig.)SIGLEAvailable from TIB Hannover: F99B275+a / FIZ - Fachinformationszzentrum Karlsruhe / TIB - Technische InformationsbibliothekBundesministerium fuer Bildung, Wissenschaft, Forschung und Technologie, Bonn (Germany); Ministry of Science and Technology, Jerusalem (Israel)DEGerman

Topics: 06F - Ecology, 08M - Atmospheric sciences
Year: 1998
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