Not so holy after all

Uri Roll, Lewi Stone, Rich Grenyer, Shai Meiri

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


In responses to our paper questioning Israel's great biodiversity, Gavish and Yom-Tov claim that our methods and geographic scope are erroneous, and responsible for our inability to find Israel as diversity hotspot. They maintain that relative to its latitude and realm, Israel is very species-rich. However, our original work corrected for latitude and we highlight the failure of Israel to lie outside the prediction limits of any test in all geographical scopes. We now also analyze richness to test whether realms have parallel slopes in species area curves as Gavish claims and upon which he bases his analysis. We also analyze species richness in the Palearctic realm, calculate prediction limits, and add latitude as a predictor. Moreover, we analyze a new dataset of mammal, bird, and amphibian richness in grid-cells comparing Israeli cell values to the entire world, the Palearctic, and Israel's latitudes. We reject the idea that realms have equal slopes and therefore the Palearctic is not always at a disadvantage compared to other realms. Within the Palearctic realm Israel never lies outside the prediction limits for a country of its area, and adding latitude to this analysis lowered Israel's residual placement. Israel's richness in grid-cells is unexceptional for any taxon at all geographical scopes. In sum, irrespective of the test performed or the geographical region it is compared to, Israel is not a diversity hotspot.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-204
Number of pages12
JournalIsrael Journal of Ecology and Evolution
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Biodiversity hotspots
  • Israel
  • Mediterranean
  • Palearctic
  • diversity
  • latitude
  • realms
  • species richness
  • species-area relationship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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