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Volume :31 Issue : 1 2004      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

Biodiversity of plant communities in the Jal Az-Zor National Park, Kuwait

Auther : *MOHAMAD A. E. EL-SHEIKH AND **GHANIM A. ABBADI

 *Department of Botany and Microbiology, Faculty of Science, Al-Azhar University (Assuit Branch), P.O. Box 71524, Assuit, Egypt. E-mail: el_sheikh_eg@yahoo.co.uk
 **Department of Biological Science, Faculty of Science, Kuwait University, P.O. Box 5969, Safat13060, Kuwait, E-mail: abbadi@kuc01.kuniv.edu.kw

ABSTRACT

 Jal Az-Zor National Park of Kuwait (330 km2); northwest of Kuwait Bay, provides an excellent basis for the study of the effect of protection on the biological resources in the arid zones which are being put under natural and human stress. Forty plots were selected to cover all habitats in the Park. Soil samples were collected in each plot and analyzed. Data was analyzed by application of the multivariate analysis and statistical programs. In Jal Az-Zor National Park, 139 species of vascular plants were identified (45 perennials and 94 annuals belonging to 32 families). Saharo-Arabian elements have higher portion of the chorotypes. Five plant communities were described and recognized after application of TWINSPAN and DECORANA programs: (I) Haloxylon salicornicum-Stipa capensis community, (II) Cyperus conglomeratus- Plantago boissieri community, (III) Zygophyllum qatarense community, (IV) Nitraria retusa-Zygophyllum qatarense community and (V) Halocnemum strobilaceum-Bienertia cycloptera community. The vegetation ordination indicates a sequence of communities correlated with soil moisture, salinity and physiographic variables. The distribution starting with the xerophytic communities that inhabit the desert plain, nonsaline depressions, ridges and ending with the hygrophilous halophytic species that inhabit the salt marshes near the Arabian Gulf. The desert plain, nonsaline depressions and rocky ridge habitats had higher species richness (i.e. higher diversity) and low species dominance, this in contrast to the salt marsh plant communities.

 Key words: Aridland, Biodiversity, Escarpment, Habitat heterogeneity, Saharo-Arabian.

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