Bedrock may dictate the distribution of the fire salamander in the southern border of its global range

Hagai Shemesh, Efrat Dener, Asaf Sadeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Understanding the factors that determine the spatial distribution of species is crucial for conservation planning. In this short communication, we review previous distribution models of the fire salamander (Salamandra infraimmaculata) in northern Israel, produced by the group of the late Prof. Leon Blaustein, while suggesting a biologically-informed reinterpretation of their main predictions. We argue for the prime importance of bedrock, specifically hard limestone, because it is tightly associated with the availability of karstic formations that are key to adult survival throughout the summer. Furthermore, we suggest that the spatial distribution of limestone bedrock also determines large-scale inter-population connectivity, and may explain the observed genetic differentiation among populations, as well as the southernmost limit of the species' global distribution.

Original languageEnglish
JournalIsrael Journal of Ecology and Evolution
Volume25
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2022

Keywords

  • aestivation
  • bedrock
  • dispersal barrier
  • refuge
  • salamander
  • species distribution
  • stage-dependence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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