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.
|Journal||Israel Journal of Ecology and Evolution|
|State||Published - 1 Jan 2022|
- dispersal barrier
- species distribution
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Animal Science and Zoology