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Volume :4 Issue : 1 1977      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

Ecological studies on the desert of Kuwait. III. The vegetation of the coastal salt marshes

Auther : R. HALWAGY AND M. HALWAGY

Department of Botany, University of Kuwait

 

ABSTRACT

 

The vegetation of the coastal salt marshes in Kuwait is described. Vegetation parameters are measured along four belt transects; ground level is estimated at 50 m intervals. The distribution of plant communities and zonation of vegetation along these transects and elsewhere on the marshes are described. The vegetation is uniform and of simple structure. It is distinguished into 13 community types, recognized by the dominant species. They often show a distinct zonation, the sequence of which varies from site to site and appears to be related to microtopography. The common zonal sequence is: (1) Community type of Salicornia herbacea on low inundated mudbanks, sometimes associated with (2) Community type of Juncus arabicus, (3) Community type of Halocnemon strobilaceum occupying the shoreline belt, (4) Community type of Seidlitzia rosmarinrts further inland, (5) Community type of Nitraria retusa on the middle marsh beyond the reach of highest tides, (6) Community type of Tamarix passerinoides, (7) Community type of Zygophyllurn coccineum often on the elevated landward edge of the marsh. Six other community types are encountered: (8) Community type of Phragmites australis, (9) Community type of Aeluropus lagopoides, (10) Community type of Aeluropus littoralis, (11) Community type of Cressa cretica, (12) Community type of Halocnemon strobifaceum and Seidlitzia rosmarinus, (13) Community type of Seidlitzia rosrnarinus, Zygophyflum coccineum, Traganum nudatum and Nitraria retnsa. It is suggested that ground level, in relation to tide or to water table, plays a role in determining plant distribution, possibly through affecting soil water and salt content. Halocnemon occurs on low, inundated marshes, Nitraria on places not reached by tides, and Zygophyflurn on elevated coarse sandy sites away from tidal or water table influence.

 

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