August 2018

Old Man's Beard – a new wild plant in Israel

Oz Golan
Brought to print – Avi Shmida

Keywords: Mediterranean region, Mediterranean chaparral, Jerusalem Mountains, climbers, sympatrian species, Ranunculaceae, Sataf, winter bloomers, pollination flowers

A new species in Israel, the Old Man's Beard (Clematis vitalba, Ranunculaceae), was recently discovered in the Jerusalem Mountains, and apparently also in Samaria.  This species grows in Europe, as well as in the Mediterranean Basin, but to the present has not been seen in Israel, Jordan, Egypt or Libya. The plant is similar to the Fragrant Virgin's Bower (Clamatis flammula) and flowers at the same time (early summer), but its petals and young branches are hairy. We are reporting the surprising find for the first time.

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About Bufonia ramonensis and other species of Bufonia in Israel and its neighbors

Avi Shmida, the Department of Evolution and Ecology, and the Center for the Study of Rationality at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Givat Ram,

Keywords: problem of taxonomic species, Negev Highlands, community of Chiliadenus iphiooides, endemic species, Caryophyllaceae, rock plants, Hermon flora, summary

Bufonia ramonensis is a plant of great biogeographic-botanical importance in Israel, and of high value in the conservation of species in danger of extinction.  it is an endemic plant, which grows in the world in a single spot – in the Negev Highlands in Israel. Due to the importance of the species for conservation, and due to lacunae in its description, and inaccuracies published about it in the past, this article brings a detailed and up-to-date description of the plant and its relations, and  hypotheses are raised regarding the evolution of its origins. In addition, details are presented regarding the additional species of Bufonia that grow in Israel and its neighbors, in an effort to crack the systematic confusion around the species Bufonia virgata, and Bufonia  multiceps

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Pistacia trees and gall aphids that accompany them stretch the boundaries of their distribution on the Hermon

Moshe Inbar, The Department of Evolutionary and Environmental Biology, Haifa University,

Keywords: Anacardiaceae, biogeography,  zoogeography, insect-plant relations, galls

The Pistacia trees (Anacardiaceae) have great ecological importance in the diversity of habitats in Israel.  Due to its geographic location, and the conditions that prevail on it, one can find on the Hermon plants and animals the origin of which is in various regions.   It transpires that the edge of the distribution boundary of the Mount Atlas Pistache (Pistacia atlantica) (steppe distribution pattern) and  the Palestine Pistachio (Pistacia palaestina) (Mediterranean distribution pattern) passes through the Israeli Hermon, at an altitude of round 1,600 m. The factor that limits the distribution of the Pistacia trees on the Hermon is the availability of soil that accumulates sufficient dampness in the course of the dry summer.  Galls form on the Pistacia trees that are induced by aphids, with each species of Pistacia having galls and aphids that are unique to it. The galls locate and successfully develop on isolated Pistacia trees.  This short record is devoted to the northern distribution limit, and the maximal altitude of the Pistacia trees and galls on the Israeli Hermon. it will be interesting to follow the marginal population of the Pistacias and galls on the Hermon, also in light of the global warming.

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