Prof. Ido Izhaki
Professor of Biology

Department of Biology, University of Haifa at Oranim, Tivon 36006, Israel
Tel: (972) 4 9838919
Fax: (972) 4 9832167

Home page:

Place and Date of Birth:     Afula, Israel, March 1st, 1954
Marital Status:                   Married + 2
Permanent Home Address:  21d Hacongress Hatzioni, Afula 18422, Israel

Research Interests:
My main research field is wildlife nutritional ecology. I have focused mainly on frugivory and piscivory. The aim of my studies on frugivory was to better understand the relations between fruit-bearing plants and their dispersal agents especially in the east Mediterranean ecosystems. I have studied the role of frugivorous birds in seed dispersal, the importance of fruit diet for migrating birds, the effect of secondary metabolites and amino acids on fruit selection by birds, the effect of mammals (rabbits, gazelles) on seed germination, and the role of the fruit-bat in seed dispersal. I aim to continue my research on the role of secondary metabolites in fruits on seed dispersal success and I have lately submitted two research proposals on this topic.
My second research involves fish-eating birds and is aimed to solve the conflict between fishery and damaging birds. In this project we studied the energy demands of the great white pelican and his fish predation in Israel. Currently I involve with two projects on fish predation by two cormorant species.
In addition to my main research avenue I am also interested in bird migration and fire ecology (especially the post-fire resilience of animals in pine forests) and several of my publications were on this topic.


A. Peered reviewed journals:

  1. Izhaki, I. and Safriel, U.N. 1985. Why do fleshy-fruit plants of the Mediterranean scrub intercept fall- but not spring-passage of seed- dispersing migratory birds? Oecologia (Berlin) 67: 40-43.
  2. Izhaki, I. and Safriel, U.N. 1989. Why are there so few exclusive frugivorous birds? Experiments on fruit digestibility. Oikos 54: 23-32.
  3. Izhaki, I. and Safriel, U.N. 1990. Weight losses due to exclusive fruit diet - interpretation and evolutionary implications: a reply to Mack and Sedinger. Oikos 57: 140-142.
  4. Izhaki, I. and Safriel, U.N. 1990. The effect of some scrubland frugivores upon germination patterns. Journal of Ecology 78: 56-65.
  5. Izhaki, I., Walton, P. and Safriel, U.N. 1991. Seed shadows generated by frugivorous birds in an eastern Mediterranean scrub. Journal of Ecology 79: 579-590.
  6. Izhaki, I., Lahav, H. and Ne'eman, G. 1992. Spatial distribution patterns of Rhus coriaria seedlings after fire in a Mediterranean pine forest. Acta Oecologica 13: 279-289.
  7. Ne'eman, G., Lahav, H. and Izhaki, I. 1992. Spatial pattern of seedlings one year after fire in a Mediterranean pine forest. Oecologia 91: 365-370.
  8. Izhaki, I. 1992. A comparative analysis of nutritional quality of mixed and exclusive fruit diets for Yellow-throated bulbuls. Condor 94: 912-923.
  9. Ayal, Y. and Izhaki, I. 1993. The effect of the Mirid bug Capsodes infuscatus on fruit production of the geophyte Asphodelus ramosus in a desert habitat. Oecologia (Berlin) 93: 518-523.
  10. Haim, A. and Izhaki, I. 1993. The ecological significance of resting metabolic rate and non-shivering thermogenesis for rodents. Journal of Thermal Biology 18: 71-81.
  11. Izhaki, I., Haim, A. and Zohar, O. 1993. Rodent populations recovering from fire in an east Mediterranean woodlands. Water Science and Technology 27: 539-545.
  12. Broza, M., Poliakov, D., Weber, S. and Izhaki, I. 1993. Soil microarthropods on post-fire pine forest on Mount Carmel, Israel. Water Science and Technology 27: 533-538.
  13. Izhaki, I. 1993. Influence of nonprotein nitrogen on estimation of protein from total nitrogen in fleshy fruits. Journal of Chemical Ecology 19: 2605-2615.
  14. Korine, C., Izhaki, I. and Makin, D. 1994. Population structure and emergence order in the fruit-bat Rousettus aegyptiacus. Journal of Zoology (London) 232: 163-174.
  15. Berner, T. and Izhaki, I. 1994. Effect of exogenous nitrogen levels on ultrastructure of zooxanthellae from the hermatypic coral Pocillopora damicornis. Pacific Science 48: 254-262.
  16. Haim, A. and Izhaki, I. 1994. Changes in rodent community during recovery from fire: relevance to conservation. Biodiversity and Conservation 3: 573-585.
  17. Izhaki, I. 1994. Preliminary data on the importance of Israel for the conservation of the white pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus L. Ostrich 65: 213-217.
  18. Maitav, A. and Izhaki, I. 1994. Stopover and fat deposition by blackcaps Sylvia atricapilla following spring migration over the Sahara. Ostrich 65: 160-166.
  19. Izhaki, I., Korine, C. and Arad, Z. 1995. The effect of bat (Rousettus aegyptiacus) dispersal on seed germination in east Mediterranean habitats. Oecologia 101: 335-342.
  20. Ne'eman, G., Lahav, H. and Izhaki, I. 1995. Recovery of vegetation in a natural east Mediterranean pine forest on Mount Carmel, Israel, as affected by management strategies. Forest Ecology and Management 75: 17-26.
  21. Haim, A. and Izhaki, I. 1995. Comparative physiology of thermoregulation in rodents: adaptations to arid and mesic environments. Journal of Arid Environments 31:  431-440 .
  22. Izhaki, I. and A. Haim. 1996. Adaptive morphometric variations in lizards of the genus Agama in Israel. Israel Journal of Zoology 42: 385-394.
  23. Haim, A., Izhaki, I. and Golan, A. 1996. Rodent diversity in pine forests recovering from fire. Israel Journal of Zoology 42: 353-359.
  24. Ne'eman, G. and Izhaki, I. 1996. Colonization in abandoned east-Mediterranean vineyard. Journal of Vegetation Science 7: 465-472.
  25. Izhaki, I. and G. Ne'eman. 1996.  The effect of porcupine and bast scale on Allepo pine recruitment after fire. Acta Oecologica 17: 97-107.
  26. Izhaki, I., Maestro, N., Meir, D. and Broza, M. 1996.  Impact of the mirid bug Capsodes infuscatus (Hemiptera: Miridae) on fruit production of the geophyte Asphodelus aestivus: The effect of plant density.  Florida Entomologist 79: 510-520.
  27. Izhaki, I. and Adar, M.  1997. The effects of post-fire management on bird community succession. International Journal of Wildland Fire 7: 335-342.
  28. Broza, M. and Izhaki, I.  1997.  The impact of intense fire on the soil Arthropod community in Mediterranean pine forest in Israel: Time post-fire, seasonality and influence of tree species.  International Journal of Wildland Fire  7: 317-325.
  29. Izhaki, I. and Ne‚eman, G. 1997. Hares (Lepus sp.) as seed dispersers of Retama raetam (Fabaceae) in a sandy landscape. Journal of Arid Environment 37: 343-354.
  30. Haim, A., Rozenfeld, A. and Izhaki, I. 1997. Post-fire response of shrews (Crocidura suaveolens) on Mount Carmel, Israel. Mammalia 61: 527-536.
  31. Izhaki, I. and Maitav, A.  1998.  Blackcaps Sylvia atricapilla stopping over at the desert edge; physiological state and flight-range estimates. Ibis 140: 223-233.
  32. Izhaki, I. and Maitav, A.  1998.  Blackcaps Sylvia atricapilla stopping over at the desert edge: Inter- and intra-sexual differences in spring and autumn migration. Ibis 140: 234-243.
  33. Korine, C., Izhaki, I. and Arad, Z. 1998. Comparison of fruit syndromes between the Egyptian fruit-bat (Rousettus aegyptiacus) and birds in East Mediterranean habitats. Acta Oecologica 19: 147-153.
  34. Izhaki, I. 1998. Essential amino acid composition of fleshy fruits versus maintenance requirements of passerine birds. Journal of Chemical Ecology 24: 1333-1345.
  35. Ne‚eman, G.  and Izhaki, I. 1998. Stability of pre- and post-fire spatial structure of pine trees in Aleppo pine forest. Ecography 21: 535-542.
  36. Izhaki, I. 1998. The relationships between fruit ripeness, wasp seed predation and avian fruit removal in Pistacia palaestina. Israel Journal of Plant Sciences  46: 273-278.
  37. Zisapel, N., Barnea, E., Anis, Y., Izhaki, I., Reiter, R.J. and Haim, A. 1998. Involvement of the pineal gland in daily scheduling of the golden spiny mouse. Life Sciences 63: 751-757.
  38. Korine, C., Izhaki, I. and Arad,   Z. 1999. Is the Egyptian fruit-bat Rousettus aegyptiacus a pest in Israel? An analysis of the bat‚s diet and implications for its conservation. Biological Conservation 88: 301-306.
  39. Mirsky, N., Aharoni, A., Rabinowitz, C. and Izhaki, I. 1999. Naturally occurring chromium compounds in Brewer's yeast and the saltbush plant. Journal of Trace Elements in Experimental Medicine 12: 111-124.
  40. Ne‚eman, G. and Izhaki, I. 1999. The effect of stand age and microhabitat on soil seed banks in Mediterranean Aleppo pine forests after fire. Plant Ecology 144: 115-125.
  41. Zisapel, N., Barnea, E., Izhaki, I., Anis, Y. and Haim, A. 1999. Daily scheduling of the golden spiny mouse under photoperiod and social cues. Journal of Experimental Zoology 284: 100-106.
  42. Ne‚eman, G. and Izhaki, I. 1999. Ecology and management of Mediterranean pine forests - conclusion of the international MEDPINE workshop. Journal of Meditteranean Ecology 1: 133-138.
  43. Shmueli, M., Izhaki, I., Arieli, A. and Arad, Z. 2000. Energy requirements of migrating Great White Pelican Pelecanus onocrotalus. Ibis 142: 208-216.
  44. Shmueli, M., Izhaki, I. and Arad, Z. 2000. The physiological state of captive and migrating Great White Pelicans (Pelecanus onocrotalus) revealed by their blood chemistry. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology (A) 125: 25-32.
  45. Haim, A. and Izhaki, I. 2000. The effect of different treatments on the community composition of small mammals in a post-fire pine forest. Journal of Mediterranean Ecology 1: 249-257.
  46. Izhaki, I., Henig-Sever, N. and Ne'eman, G. 2000. Soil seed banks in Mediterranean Aleppo pine forests - The effect of heat, cover and ash on seedling emergence. Journal of Ecology 88: 667-675.
  47. Lev-Yadun, S., Dafni, A., Inbar, M. Izhaki,I.and Ne’eman, G. 2002. Colour Patterns invegetative parts of plants deserve more research attention.Trends in Plant Science7: 59-60.
  48. Izhaki,I., Shmueli, M.,Arad, Z., Steinberg, Y. and A. Crivelli. 2002. Satellite tracking of migratory and ranging behavior of immature Great White Pelicans. Waterbirds 25: 295-304.
  49.  Izhaki,I.2002. Emodin - a secondary metabolite with multiple ecological functions in higher plants (a review). New Phytologist 155: 205-217.
  50. Banko, P.C., Cipollini, M.L., Breton, G.W., Paulk, E., Wink, M. and Izhaki, I. 2002. Seed chemistry of Sophora chrysophylla (Mamane) in relation to the diet of the specialist avian seed predator Loxioides bailleui (Palila) inHawaii. Journal of Chemical Ecology28: 1393-1410.
  51. Izhaki,I.,Tsahar, E., Paluy,I. and Friedman, J. 2002. Within population variation and interrelationships between morphology, nutritional content, and secondary compounds of Rhamnus alaternus fruits. New Phytologist 156: 217-223.
  52. Tsahar, E., Friedman, J. and Izhaki,I.2002. Impact of fruit removal and seed predation of a secondary metabolite, emodin, in Rhamnus alaternus fruit pulp. Oikos 99: 291-300.
  53.  Inbar, M., Shanas, U. and Izhaki, I. 2002. Characterization of road accidents inIsraelinvolving large mammals.IsraelJournal of Zoology48: 197-206.
  54. Tsahar, E., Friedman J. and Izhaki, I. The secondary metabolite emodin increases food assimilation efficiency of fruit-eating Bulbuls (Pycnonotus xanthopygos). Auk 120: 411-417.
  55.  Izhaki,I.,Levey, D.J. and Wesley, R.S. 2003. Effects of prescribed fire on an ant community inFloridapine savanna. Ecological Entomology 28: 439-448.
  56. Strod, T.,IzhakiI.,Arad Z., Weihs D. and Katzir G. 2003.Cormorants Phalacrocorax carbo swallow fish under water.Vogelwelt 124 (Suppl.): 271.
  57. Tsahar,E.MartínezdelRio, C.,Arad, Z., Joy, J.P. and Izhaki, I. In press. Are the low protein requirements of nectarivorous birds the consequence of the sugary and watery diet? - A test with an omnivore. Submitted to Physiological and Biochemical Zoology.
  58.  Shmueli, M.,Arad, Z, Katzir, G. and Izhaki, I. In press. Developmental rates and morphometrics of the sympatric Pygmy Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pygmeus) and the Great Cormorant (P. carbo sinensis). IsraelJournal of Zoology.
B. Chapters in books:
  1. Izhaki, I. 2000. Passerine bird communities in Mediterranean pine forests. In: Ne‚eman, G. and Trabaud, L. (Eds.), Ecology, Biogeography and Management of Pinus halepensis and P. brutia Forest Ecosystems in the Mediterranean Basin. Buckhuys Publishers, Leiden, pp. 237-250.
  2. Izhaki, I. and Ne‚eman, G. 2000. Soil seed banks in Mediterranean pine forests. In: Ne‚eman, G. and Trabaud, L. (Eds.), Ecology, Biogeography and Management of Pinus halepensis and P. brutia Forest Ecosystems in the Mediterranean Basin. Buckhuys Publishers, Leiden, pp. 167-181.
  3. Izhaki, I. 2002. The role of fruit traits in determining fruit removal inEast Mediterraneanecosystems. In: Levey, D.J., Silva, W.R. and M. Galetti, (Eds.), Dispersal and Frugivory: Ecology, Evolution and Conservation. CAB International Publishing,Wallingford,Oxfordshire,UK, pp. 161-175 (refereed).
C. Articles submitted/ in preparation:  
  1. Sapir, N., Abramsky, Z., and Izhaki,I.Scale dependent habitat selection for food and safety of autumn migrating frugivorous passerines. Submitted to Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology.
  2. Shmueli, M.,Arad, Z., Katzir, G., Shy, E., Goren, M. and Izhaki, I. Is sexual size dimorphism related to diet segregation in piscivorous Great White Pelicans and Great Cormorants? Submitted to Ibis.
  3. Tsahar, E., Martínezdel Rio, C., Izhaki, I. AndAradZ. Can birds be ammonotelic? Nitrogen balance and excretion in two frugivores. Submitted to Journal of Experimental Biology.
  4. Tsahar, E., Izhaki,I.,AradZ. and Martínezdel Rio, C. The effect of protein intake on 15N enrichment, in the yellow-vented bulbul. In preparation.


Introductory Ecology
1989-Present, Lecture, B.Sc.

1988-Present, Lecture, B.Sc.

Population Ecology (go to course site)
1996-Present, Lecture, Lab. & Computer, B.Sc.

Methods in Quantitative Ecology (go to course site)
1997-Present, Lecture, Lab. & Computer, B.Sc.

Ecological Aspects of Global Climate Change
1999-Present, Lecture (Haifa University), M.A.

Graduate Students Supervised:

Menachem Adar (with U. Safriel)
Asparagus aphyllus and the relationships with its dispersing birds.  M.Sc., Sept. 1991

Marva Shmueli (with Z. Arad)
Ecophysiology of the Great White Pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus) as a basis for solving damaging to fisheries.  M.Sc., Nov. 1996

Esther Lachman (with J. Heller and Z. Arad)
Population dynamics and ecophysiology of land snails following wildfire in a mediterranean habitat. Ph.D.,

Nir Sapir (with Z. Abramsky)
Habitat selection of frugivory Autumn migrating passerines in Atlantic Pistachio grove located at desert edge. M.Sc.

Ella Tsahar (with J. Friedman and D. Afik) The impact of the secondary metabolite emodin in Rhamnus alaternus fruits on fruit removal and seed dispersal. M.Sc.

Hagar Melamed (with A. Arieli) The role of secondary metabolites in Loranthus acaciae's nectar for its legitimate and non-legitimate pollinators. M.Sc.

Ella Tsahar    (with Z. Arad and C. Martinez del-Rio). Protein balance in birds: physiological mechanisms and ecological consequences. Ph.D.

Ofir Altstein   (with R. Nathan) Fleshy-fruited plants and frugivores in desert ecosystems. M.Sc.

Naama Lindman (withN. Beker) Bioeconomic aspects of the crane-man conflict in theHullaValley. M.A.

Yifat Davidson   (with Y. Leshem) Time budget and habitat selection of cranes. M.Sc.

Lia Court       (with Y. Carmel and O. Bahat) Foraging behavior of vultures Gyps fulvus. M.A.

Rivka Lester  The effect of ants on seed dispersal and predation in different successional stages of Pinus halepensis forest. M.Sc.

Rachel Schwartz- Tzachor (with Avi Perevolotski) Butterflies as bioindicators. Ph.D.

Alon Lotan The role of abiotic conditions on the nutritional value of fruits of Ochradenus baccatus. M.Sc.

Recent projects:

  1. Behavioural, ecological and physiological aspects of feeding in fish eating birds, and the development of means to prevent damage to fish ponds.
  2. Satellite tracking of migration routes, wintering and breeding home ranges of the Great White Pelican (Pelecanus onocrotalus).
  3. Essential amino acid composition of fleshy fruits versus maintenance requirements of passerine birds.
  4. Seed banks in Mediterranean Aleppo pine forests.
  5. The importance of secondary metabolites in mediating interactions between fruiting plants and fruit-eating birds: a case study with buckthorn (Rhamnus alaternus) and yellow-vented bulbuls (Pycnonotus xanthopygos).
  6. Breeding biology and thermoregulatory behaviour of the Pygmy Cormorant, Phalacrocorax pygmeus, a bird on the verge of extinction.
  7. Fleshy-fruited plants and frugivores in desert ecosystems
  8. The ecological role of secondary compounds in floral nectar of the tree- tobacco.

Last update: January 4, 2004