Seasonal distribution and diversity of ground-active arthropods between shrub microhabitats in the Negev Desert, Israel

Rentao Liu, Yosef Steinberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


We examined the ground-active arthropods using pitfall trapping beneath Hammada scoparia and Zygophyllum dumosum shrubs and in adjacent open spaces in wet winter, short spring, dry and hot summer, and autumn in the Negev Desert, Israel. The activity abundance of ground-active arthropods was 244, 424, and 506 individuals trap−1 in open spaces and beneath H. scoparia and Z. dumosum shrubs, and was 134, 448, 414, and 178 individuals trap−1 in winter, spring, summer, and autumn, respectively. The activity abundance and richness of predators and phytophages were found to exhibit an inconsistent pattern between shrub microhabitats throughout seasonality. In contrast, the activity abundance and richness of omnivores indicated contrasting pattern between summer and other seasons. Likewise, total abundance was found to exhibit a similar pattern to taxa richness and Shannon index between shrub microhabitats only in summer. There was a consistent pattern of diversity indices between shrub microhabitats observed in both winter and autumn. However, no significant (P > 0.05) differences in activity abundance and diversity indices were found between shrub microhabitats in spring. The Sørensen index between open spaces and H. scoparia and Z. dumosum canopy microhabitats, and that between the latter two microhabitats were found to be 0.26, 0.29, and 0.19 in winter, 0.53, 0.48, and 0.48 in spring, 0.47, 0.45, and 0.52 in summer, and 0.57, 0.56, and 0.78 in autumn, respectively. It was suggested that seasonality could mediate the activity abundance and diversity distribution of ground-active arthropods between shrub microhabitats in the Negev Desert.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-110
Number of pages20
JournalArid Land Research and Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2 Jan 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This paper was financially supported by the CSC/BIU Joint Scholarships of The KORT 25 Postdoc Program, National Natural Science Foundation (41661054), CAS “Light of West China” Program (XAB2016AW02), Ningxia Science and Technology Project for Overseas Program ([2016]494), and Fok Ying-Tong Education Foundation-Ministry of Education, China (151103) to Rentao Liu.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Taylor & Francis.


  • Above-ground activity
  • community structure
  • seasonal variation
  • soil arthropod
  • xeric environment


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