Land degradation and vegetation distribution in Chott El Beida wetland, Algeria
Khaznadar, M., Vogiatzakis, I. N. and Griffiths, G. H. (2009) Land degradation and vegetation distribution in Chott El Beida wetland, Algeria. Journal of Arid Environments, 73 (3). pp. 369-377. ISSN 0140-1963
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.jaridenv.2008.09.026
The aim of this study is to explore the environmental factors that determine plant Community distribution in northeast Algeria. This paper provides a quantitative analysis of the vegetation-environment relationships for a study site in the Cholt El Beida wetland, a RAMSAR site in Setif, Algeria. Sixty vegetation plots were sampled and analysed using TWINSPAN and Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA) in order to identify the principal vegetation communities and determine the environmental gradients associated with these. 127 species belonging to 41 families and 114 genera were recorded. Six of the recorded species were endemic representing 4.7% of the total species. The richest families were Compositae, Gramineae, Cruciferae and Chenopodiaceae. Therophytes and hemicryptophytes were the most frequent life forms. the Mediterranean floristic element is dominant and is represented by 39 species. The samples were classified into four main community types. The principal DCA axes represent gradients of soil salinity, moisture and anthropogenic pressure. The use of classification in combination with ordination techniques resulted in a good discrimination between plant communities and a greater understanding of controlling environmental factors. The methodology adopted can be employed for improving baseline information on plant community ecology and distribution in often critically endangered Mediterranean wetland areas. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.