, Volume 54, Issue 3, pp 153–165 | Cite as

Vegetation patterns related to environmental factors in a Negev Desert watershed

  • L. Olsvig-Whittaker
  • M. Shachak
  • A. Yair


Three strip transects, each ca 100 contiguous 0.5×1 m2 quadrats, were sampled during the spring bloom of March 1981 across four surface structural units of a Negev Desert research watershed at Sede Boqer, Israel. Presence of all vascular plants was recorded. Data were subjected to detrended correspondence analysis (DCA ordination), and resulting spatial patterns of species distribution and abundance were compared. Large-scale gradients of vegetation were related to differences in soil moisture availability among the four structural units. Where micro-scale vegetation patterns were important, these correlated with rock and crevice microtopography. Species richness was influenced by high numbers of therophytes on the dry upper slope of the watershed and their reduced importance on the lower three units. Relationships between vegetational patterns and known ecosystem properties of the watershed are discussed.

Key words

Desert Detrended correspondence analysis Ecosystem Microsites Negev Desert Ordination Pattern analysis Spatial heterogeneity Species diversity Vascular plants Watershed 


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Copyright information

© Dr W. Junk Publishers 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. Olsvig-Whittaker
    • 1
  • M. Shachak
    • 2
  • A. Yair
    • 3
  1. 1.Section of Ecology and SystematicsCornell UniversityIthacaUSA
  2. 2.Desert Research InstituteBen Gurion University of the NegevSede BoquerIsrael
  3. 3.Department of GeographyHebrew UniversityJerusalemIsrael

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