, Volume 134, Issue 2, pp 121–140 | Cite as

River Dan, headwater of the Jordan, an aquatic oasis of the Middle East

  • F. D. Por
  • H. J. Bromley
  • Ch. Dimentman
  • G. N. Herbst
  • R. Ortal


River Dan is the largest of the headwater rivers of the Jordan. The karstic exsurgence of the Dan has a seasonally stable output, a long stretch of strongly turbulent flow, stable temperature around 15.5°C and high oxygen saturation. A total of 156 taxa, mainly at the species level, were identified from the river. These species are almost exclusively of Palearctic origin. About half of the species are limited to the northernmost part of Israel. The faunal complex described, does not present any longitudinal zonation for the 5 kilometers of turbulent flow; neither does it present seasonal changes in species composition. River Dan is considered to be a post-Pleistocenic river which has an important function of refugium for a wide area of aquatic water-bodies in the area, including the presently drained Lake Hula. It is suggested that in the Illies scheme of stream classification, River Dan might represent a type of stream belonging to a ‘pseudorhithral’ along with other stenothermic warm water torrents of the tropical-subtropical climatic belt.


Jordan River Freshwater biogeography Stream typology 


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Copyright information

© Dr W. Junk Publishers 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • F. D. Por
    • 1
    • 2
  • H. J. Bromley
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ch. Dimentman
    • 1
    • 2
  • G. N. Herbst
    • 1
    • 2
  • R. Ortal
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyThe Hebrew University of JerusalemJerusalem
  2. 2.Israel Nature Reserves AuthorityJerusalemIsrael

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