research focuses on understanding the patterns and processes shaping
biodiversity and their implications for conservation in a changing
work at several levels, from the ecosystem and community down to the
level, aiming to unveil how the link between these factors shapes
diversity in space and time. We combine in our research field work,
experiments, GIS, remote sensing and molecular techniques.
interested especially in these main directions:
along species ranges and ecological gradients.
- Biodiversity in human-dominated landscapes: This includes
studies on both native and alien species in natural, agricultural and
- Conservation planning and prioritization at local, regional
and global scales.
- Systematic conservation planning and the importance of
collaboration in the Mediterranean Basin and Mediterranean Sea.
Ongoing studies -
Dr. Salit Kark, research group members and collaborations:
gradients and ecotones as biodiversity hotspots
study is funded by the Israel Science Foundation (ISF) since 2004
and is comparing patterns and processes shaping biodiversity in two
systems: elevation vs. depth gradients. We are studying how bird,
plant diversity changes along an elevation gradient in Mt.
from 300-2200m in an aim to better understand whether continuous
changes can lead to different rates of change in diversity. We are
sensing approaches to quantify and study changes in multiple variables
the gradient. Group members working on this study are Eran Banker,
Oded Levanoni, Guy Pe’er and Hagit Tamari.
We are collaborating in this project with Avi Shmida from the Hebrew University
and with Noam Levin from Tel Aviv and Ben Gurion
study on altitudinal changes is compared with a study in the Red Sea examining
biodiversity changes in fish
along depth gradients. Group members working on this study are Eran
and Orit Nir.
same questions are addressed in a large scale study focusing on
biodiversity patterns of all New World birds in collaboration with Tom
from the World Wildlife Fund-US, Lisa Manne from University of Toronto,
Paul Williams from the Natural History Museum in London, and Noam Levin.
collaborative study with Alon Angert from Weizmann Institute, we
are examining global patterns and rates of change in various biological
parameters (e.g., NDVI, a measure of “greenness”) using satellite
these studies will enable us to better understand and predict the
role of ecological gradients and ecotonal areas in maintaining
in human-dominated landscapes
introductions and expansions
this framework, in a study funded by the Sixth Framework of the
European Union since 2005, we are part of a multi-country consortium
DAISIE (Delivering Alien Species Inventories for Europe).
research, in which we are responsible for the bird study, aims to
a database of invasive alien species in Europe
and to use it to study the patterns and processes determining the
failure of species, their impacts and to make predictions that will be
for conservation of native biodiversity. Group members working on this
are Tali Rosenberg and Assaf
part of a study funded by the Israel Ministry of Science and Technology
since 2004, we aim to examine the role of alien species in shaping
alien biodiversity. Applying field work in Tel Aviv’s Yarkon
Park and several other areas
studying how the interactions between alien species affect their
success and impact native species of birds using experimental nest
boxes and a
study of natural nesting sites. A second study examined the
process of alien birds in Israel,
focusing on the parrot and starling family, marking birds, examining
success and foraging behavior. As part of these studies, we are
with scientists in Bar
looking at the educational aspects in learning and dynamic
students and this study has a wide public outreach to children joining
work, learning and teaching the public about this important
Group members working on these studies are Yotam Orchan, Assaf
Hatzofe, Eran Banker and Racheli Ben-David.
part of a collaborative study with the Nature and Parks Authority we
are examining the range shifts in the hooded crow, a native bird that
widely increased its range in recent decades. Group members working on
study are Ohad Hatzofe. This study is part of a collaboration with
in Urban Environments
study focuses on the factors shaping biodiversity in urban areas,
comparing different areas within an urban environment, and aiming to
and provide information on what enables native (vs. alien) species to
in human dominated landscapes and especially in urban environments. We
examined biodiversity patterns of birds and plants in forty locations
city of Jerusalem,
in our work remote sensing tools to quantify habitat
are also studying biodiversity patterns of birds in Tel Aviv’s Yarkon
its surroundings, focusing on native and alien species, and within the
comparing in both regions urban species that are very well adapted to
less successful in the city. This aims to better understand what
factors make a
species a successful urban species and potentially a successful
members working on this study are Eran Banker, Gilad Bino, Samech
Schalimtzek and Maya Sella. We are
collaborating with Ruth Kark from the Hebrew
University and Noam Levin on
direction and with Andrew Iwaniuk from University of Alberta
on other aspects.
in agricultural landscapes along ecological gradients
this study, funded by Nekudat Hen of Yad Hanadiv, The Rothschild
Foundation since 2005, we are studying how butterfly diversity is
different agricultural regimes along an ecological gradient in Israel.
to provide information that will improve our understanding of how much
biodiversity is maintained in agricultural landscapes and what we can
increase the biodiversity in these areas. Group members working on this
are Guy Pe’er.
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