Phytosteroids of the Judean Desert frontier
The Judean Desert is situated between the Judean Hills, with an elevation of up to 1000 m above sea level and a rainy, Mediterranean climate, and the Dead Sea, which is the lowest place on earth – more than 400 m below sea level, with constantly warm and dry conditions. These two climatic extremes are separated by a narrow strip, ca. 30kms (14 miles) wide, which includes the Judean Desert. This creates a rare encounter between two herbal populations, and a strong climatic gradient, resulting in high stress levels in plants. One result of this stress isa relatively high level of certain phytosteroids, are involved in plants' adaptation to stress.