August 2016

The colonization of wild plants and secondary succession in an abandoned Galilean vineyard

Gidi Ne’eman, The Department of Biology and Environment at Haifa University-Oranim
Ido Izhaki, The Department of Evolutionary and Environmental Biology at Haifa University

Keywords: seeds dispersal, abandoned vineyard, secondary succession, life forms, abandoned field

This study describes the succession in various plots in one large vineyard, that were deserted at various times. The results describe the stages of settlement of perennial wild plants in the deserted plots. The study analyses the factors and especially the characteristics of the plants that influence the make-up of the settling species, and compares the results to the classical theory on succession in abandoned fields and succession in abandoned vineyards in the Western Mediterranean. This article is based on the article Ne’eman, G. and Izhaki, I. 1996,"Colonization in an abandoned East Mediterranean vineyard",  Journal of Vegetation Science Vol. 7 pp. 465-72.

Full Hebrew version

The Oriental Colewort (Crambe orientalis)a very rare species that grows in Israel only on the Golan Heights.

Shmuel Mazar, The Jewish National Fund, Northern District
Avi Shmida,  the Department of Evolution, Systematics and Behavior, and the Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Givat Ram.

Keywords: Crambe hispanica, Brassicaceae, tumbleweeds, Israeli flora, endangered plants

The Oriental Colewort (Crambe orientalis) is a species that belongs to the flora of Israel from Jordan, and was collected to date only once in the Golan Heights in the 1980s. This is a perennial tumbleweed with a skewer-like root, and a rosette of "wide cabbage leaves".  However, after forty years of search efforts one of us (S.M.) managed to find a population of the Oriental Colewort in the north-east of the Golan.  Thus, a plant that was defined as "questionably extinct" in the Red Book, has turned into an endangered species with a single population, which must be conserved.
This article deals with the biology, the systematics and the biogeography of the Oriental Colewort, while emphasizing the characteristics that distinguish it from the Spanish Colewort (Crambe hispanica).

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The rare Seashore Dock (Rumex maritimus) found in two sites along the Coastal Plain

Dror Melamed
Ori Fragman-Sapir  The University Botanical Garden, Jerusalem.
Zalman Baumval

Keywords: swamps, forest pool, damp habitats, the Sharon, Rumex dentatus, endangered species, Nahal Alexander, Israeli flora

The Seashore Dock (Rumex maritimus) is a rare plant in Israel and some consider it a doubtful plant.  The plant is very similar to the Toothed Dock (Rumex dentatus) and differs from it particularly in the shape of the lower leaves bases, and the valves of the fertile perianth leaves. Recently concentrations with scores of developed items were found on the banks of Nahal Alexander and near a forest pool near Hadera.  The findings are described, and the question whether the Seashore Dock is a clear species in Israel or a variant of the Toothed Dock is discussed.  The plant is labeled as an endangered species at risk of extinction in Israel.

Full Hebrew version

The False Oat-grass (Arrhenatherum elatius) – a new species for Israeli flora

Avi Shmida the Department of Evolution, Systematics and Behavior, and the Federmann Center for the Study of Rationality at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Givat Ram.

Keywords: Arrhenatherum, bulbils, geophytes, Graminae, the Golan Heights, Mt. Hermon, Israeli flora, oats

In Hebrew language plant finders, in Flora Palaestina, and in Israeli wild flower websites two species of Arrhenatherum are mentioned.  Recently a third species has been discovered –  Arrhenatherum elatius. This species, which is common in the temperate zone of Europe, the northern Mediterranean and the Caucasus, grows in Israel only in two damp chaparral sites in the Mt. Meron bloc, and the Mas'ada (Odem?) forest in the northern Golan.   The differences between Arrhenatherum elatius and  Arrhenatherum palaestinum are especially in the position of the awn on the flower's pale, and the hairiness of the upper flower's pales. Upon the addition of this species to the list of Israel's natural plants, the number of wild species and alien plants within the borders of greater Israel (including the Golan Heights and the southern Hermon) has reached 2546.

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Palestine Buckthorn (Ramnus lycioides) discovered near Eilath

Dudi Rivner Kibbutz Eilot
Dafna Carmeli Kibbutz Samar

Keywords: Ramnus disperma, Ramnaceae, the southern Negev, Nahal Betamim 

Palestine Buckthorn shrubs were discovered near Nahal Betamim in the mountains of Eilath, in lime rock crevices with a north-west bearing.  These items are the first to be found in the distant Negev, several tens of kilometers from the southernmost  items known to date in the Negev Highlands. The existence of Ramnus shrubs in this region is discussed in a broad ecological framework, as is the question of the systematic status of  the Desert Buckthorn (Ramnus disperma) versus the Palestine Buckthorn.

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Morphological variance in populations of Short-leaved Water-starwort (Callitriche truncata)  in the Golan Heights

Dror Melamed

Keywords:  hypo hydrophilic pollination, Callitirichaceae, submersed plants, Golan Heights, winter pools, synonyms

In the months of April and May 2016 samples of various species of Callitriche were collected from winter pools on the Golan Heights. In two pools in the Zuriman area items of the Short-leaved Water-starwort, whose fruit is borne on substantial stalks, were collected. In a pool close to the Avital reservoir (near Kibbutz Merom-Golan) as well as pools close-by to the Orvim reservoire, homogeneous populations were found in which all the fruit is sessile. In the article the findings are described, and an up-to-date taxonomy for this species is discussed.

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