The Sandy Islands of West Negev

I. Renan, A. Freidberg, P. Bar Kutiel

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


The northwestern Negev sand dunes, the largest sandy area in Israel, are characterized by a high number of endemic species. In recent decades, a rapid stabilization process of the dunes has oc- curred in the area, expressed by intense coverage by biogenic crusts. Today, only 7% of the bare sand, which characterized the area 50 years ago, remains, and only at the crests of a few isolated dunes. In order to examine the impact of the sand stabilization on the ground-dwelling arthropod community, we sampled them in various landscape units (stabilized and semi-stabilized dunes, bare sand and slopes on semi-stabilized dunes, and inter-dune depressions). The samplings were conducted in the spring (March–April) during two years, using dry pitfalls traps. The results indi- cate that different dune types and habitats are characterized by different arthropod communities. The shifting crest dunes are characterized by psammophilic species that appear almost exclusively in this habitat. In the crusted stabilized inter-dune habitat we found mainly loess-dwelling species, which are common in most of the Negev loess plains. Active management is required in order to prevent a complete loss of the bare sand habitat and its endemic species and unique assemblage
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-98
JournalIsrael Journal of Ecology and Evolution
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2010


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