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Ecogeography and Demography of Cicer judaicum Boiss., a Wild Annual Relative of Domesticated Chickpea


This article in CS

  1. Vol. 46 No. 3, p. 1360-1370
    Received: Oct 12, 2005

    * Corresponding author(s): abbo@agri.huji.ac.il
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  1. Roi Ben-Davida,
  2. Simcha Lev-Yadunb,
  3. Canan Canc and
  4. Shahal Abbo *a
  1. a The Robert H. Smith Institute of Plant Science and Genetics in Agriculture, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, P.O. Box 12, Rehovot 76100, Israel
    b Department of Biology, Faculty of Science and Science Education, University of Haifa-Oranim, Tivon 36006, Israel
    c Department of Biology, University of Gaziantep, 27310, Turkey


Chickpea (Cicer arietinum L.) is a major pulse crop in the Indian subcontinent and other world regions and is characterized by narrow adaptation relative to other cool season food legumes. Comparative ecophysiology employing closely related wild species is a powerful tool to broaden the understanding of the genetic and physiological basis of crop adaptation. However, meager data are available on the ecological preferences of annual wild Cicer species. Moreover, the geographic range, its size, shape, and boundaries as well as its internal structure have never been studied for any of the wild Cicer taxa, thereby limiting our understanding of Cicer biology. Accordingly, this work focused on Israeli C. judaicum Boiss. a wild annual relative of chickpea. We defined the range of the species across the Mediterranean zone of Israel, characterized the ecogeographical profile of its habitats and studied two populated sites at the macro- and microsite levels in terms of plant density, frequency, and niche physical characteristics. Throughout the survey area the species is mostly confined to stony and rocky niches where competition with more aggressive annuals is small. This habitat preference dictates a patchy distribution pattern at all levels, from local niche to the region and beyond.

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Copyright © 2006. Crop Science Society of AmericaCrop Science Society of America