Ofir Katz Ph.D
EARTHLIFE: Integrative and Desert Ecology Laboratory
Fields of interest
I study morphological and anatomical traits that contribute to plant adaptation to extreme environments, and especially the accumulation of silicon and other inorganic materials in plants. I am especially interested in the environmental factors that drive the magnitude and distribution of these traits and how these traits affect plant community and ecosystem properties and functioning. Other parts of my work deal with the evolutionary history of these traits as part of plant and ecosystem evolutionary history, and with the response of desert ecosystems to natural and human-made disturbances.
- Yamit Marom – Lab manager
- Chanania Vorst – M.Sc. student: Biogeography of silicon contents in the flora of Israel
- Iris Eshed – Insect monitoring and biological control
- Gidon Kedem – Field and laboratory technician
- Biogeography of silicon contents in the flora of Israel and its relation to ecosystem functioning
Funding: Israel Science Foundation
CI: Marcelo Sternberg, TAU
- Trophic allometric ecosystem analysis: water and keystone species in a hyper-arid region
Funding: UTI Foundation
Co-PI: Shai Meiri, TAU
- Insect monitoring, management and control
Funding: Tamar Regional Council
- Ecological monitoring in the Ze’eilm alluvial fan
Funding: Dead Sea Works
- Vegetation monitoring following industrial pollution in Nahal Ashalim
Funding: Israel Nature and Parks authority and HaMa’arag
- Katz O, Puppe D, Kaczorek D, Prakash NB, Schaller J. 2021. Silicon in the soil-plant continuum: Intricate feedback mechanisms within ecosystems. Plants 10: 652.
- Yu S, Wang G, Katz O, Li D, Wang Q, Yue M, Liu C. 2021. Shift of seed mass and fruit type spectra along longitudinal gradient: high water availability and growth allometry. Biogeosciences 18: 655–667.
- Katz O, Stavi I. 2020. Hierarchical effects of Tamarix aphylla afforestation in a sand dune environment on vegetation structure and plant diversity. Forest Science 66: 568–577.
- Herooty Y, Bar (Kutiel) P, Yizhaq H, Katz O. 2020. Soil hydraulic properties and water source-sink relations affect plant rings’ formation and sizes under arid conditions. Flora 270: 151664.
- Katz O. 2020. Silicon and plant-animal interactions: towards an evolutionary framework. Plants 9: 430.
- Katz O. 2019. Silicon content is a plant functional trait: implications in a changing world. Flora 254: 88–94.
- Katz O. 2019. Conflict and complementarity of paleontological and molecular chronologies? Paleobiology 45: 7–20.
- Katz O. 2018. Plant silicon and phytolith research and the Earth-life superdiscipline. Frontiers in Plant Science 9: 1281.
- Katz O. 2018. Extending the scope of Darwin’s `abominable mystery`: integrative approaches to understanding angiosperm origins and species richness. Annals of Botany 121: 1–8.
- Yu S, Katz O, Fang W, Li D, Sang W, Liu C. 2017. Shift of fleshy fruited species along elevation: temperature, shaded habitats, phylogeny and origin. Scientific Reports 7: 40417.
- Katz O, Kam M, Carmi A, Degen AA, Henkin Z, Bar (Kutiel) P. 2016. Activity and short-term impacts of dromedary camels (Camelus dromedarius) foraging on perennial coastal sand dune vegetation. Journal of Arid Environments 133: 47–53.
- Bar (Kutiel) P, Katz O, Ziso-Cohen V, Divinsky I, Katra I. 2016. Water availability in sand dunes and its implications for the distribution of Artemisia monosperma. Catena 137: 144–151.
- Katz O. 2015. Silica phytoliths in angiosperms: phylogeny and early evolutionary history. New Phytologist 208: 642–646.
- Katz O. 2014. Beyond grasses: the potential benefits of studying silicon accumulation in non-grass species. Frontiers in Plant Science 5: 376.
- Katz O, Cabanes D, Weiner S, Maeir AM, Boaretto E, Shahack-Gross R. 2010. Rapid phytolith extraction for analysis of phytolith concentrations and assemblages during an excavation: an application at Tell es-Safi/Gath, Israel. Journal of Archaeological Science 37: 1557–1563.