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Publication Type J
Authors Abd el-Ghani, M. M. and W. M. Amer
Title Soil-vegetation relationships in a coastal desert plain of southern Sinai, Egypt
Source Journal of Arid Environments
Author Keywords arid ecosystems desert vegetation Egypt multivariate analysis plant distribution edaphic factors plant communities canonical correspondence-analysis plant species-diversity environment relationships gradient analysis salt-marshes israel negev patterns communities limestone
Abstract The present study provides an analysis of soil, vegetation types as well as structure and species distribution in 19 sites in El-Qaa plain along the Gulf of Suez (south Sinai, Egypt), and focuses on the environmental factors that control the species distribution. A total of 203 species belonging to 39 families of the vascular plants are recorded. Asteraceae, Fabaceae, Chenopodiaceae and Poaceae are the largest families. Grasses constitute only 9% of the recorded species, while the woody perennials (shrubs and sub-shrubs) are highly dominated (46%). Therophytes and chamaephytes are the most frequent, denoting a typical desert lifeform spectrum. Floristic composition in the different geomorphologic landscape units showed differences in species richness. The highest mean species richness of 19.7 +/- 1.7 is recorded in the wadi channels. The lowest species richness values are recorded in the coastal shore and playas (6.0 +/- 1.4) and in the alluvial fans (mean of 8.4 +/- 1.6 species). Chorological analysis revealed that 46% of the studied species are uniregional, being native to the Saharo-Arabian region. On the other hand, about 50% of the recorded species are biregional and pluritegional, extending their distribution all over the Saharo-Arabian, Sudano-Zambezian, Irano-Turanian and Mediterranean regions. Classification of the vegetation is analysed using two-way indicator species analysis (TWINSPAN) techniques resulted in the recognition of five vegetation groups, each of definite vegetation and soil characters, and could be linked to a specific geomorphologic unit. Capparis spinosa var. spinosa occupied the terraces, Cornulaca monacantha, Convolvulus lanatus and Deverra tortuosa inhabited the alluvial plains, Launaea nudicaulis and Artemisia judaica characterized the wadi channels, Acacia tortilis subsp. raddiana and Leptadenia pyrotechnica characterized the alluvial fans and Tamarix nilotica, Zygophyllum album and Nitraria retusa on the playas and the coastal shore. Ordination techniques as detrended correspondence analysis (DCA) and canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) are used to examine the relationship between the vegetation and studied soil parameters. Nine soil variables are included: electrical conductivity, pH, calcium carbonate, gypsum, organic matter, gravel, fine soil fractions and soil saturation percentage. Analysis with DCA gave results similar to CCA, suggesting that there is a relatively high correspondence between vegetation and soil factors. DCA axis I showed significant positive correlation with CaCO3, pH, soil saturation and organic matter, and interpreted as a calcium carbonate-soil saturation gradient. DCA axis 2 showed significant correlation with pH, gypsum and electric conductivity, and interpreted as an electric conductivity-gypsum gradient. Application of CCA indicated that soil surface sediment, CaCO3, soil saturation, pH and organic matter are the main operating edaphic gradients in the area. These gradients are related closely to the first three canonical axes, and accounted for 67% of the species-environment relationship among the sites. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
Author Address Cairo Univ, Fac Sci, Herbarium, Giza 12613, Egypt. Abd el-Ghani, MM (reprint author), Cairo Univ, Fac Sci, Herbarium, Giza 12613, Egypt.
ISSN 0140-1963
ISBN 0140-1963
Publication Date Dec
Year Published 2003
Volume 55
Issue 4
Beginning Page 607-628
Digital Object Identifier (DOI) 10.1016/s0140-1963(02)00318-x
Unique Article Identifier WOS:000185762500003
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