Abstract 25
Nevo, E., Travleev, A. P., Belova, N. A., Tsatskin, A., Pavlíček, T., Kulik, A. F., Tsvetkova, N. N. and Yemshanov, D. C. 1998: Edaphic interslope and valley bottom divergence at "Evolution Canyon", Lower Nahal Oren, Mount Carmel, Israel. Catena 340: 241-254.
The opposite slopes of lower Nahal Oren, Mount Carmel, Israel, designated "Evolution Canyon", display physical and biotic contrasts, although both are cut in Upper Cenomanian calcareous limestone. The three-fold greater solar radiation makes the south-facing slope warmer, drier and more variable than the north-facing slope and valley bottom. Consequently, biodiversity is greater. Microclimate (mesic-xeric) is a major force driving adaptive evolution, and causing soil divergence. The soils on both slopes are Terra Rossas in the Israeli classification system (Rhodoxeralfs in US taxonomy). However, selected properties (pH, humus content, NH4-N content, cation exchange capacity and others) display greater interslope than intraslope differences. The north-facing Terra Rossas have a dark-coloured A1 humic horizon, which is better developed than in south-facing Terra Rossas. Differences in soil morphology, moisture regime and microfabric between the north- and south-facing soils suggest that they belong to different taxonomic classes. These differences probably result in part from the forested ecosystem of the north-facing slope versus the savanna-like ecosystem of the opposite slope.