Plant Communities and Floristic Composition of the Vegetation of Wadi Al-Assiuty and Wadi Habib in the Eastern Desert, Egypt
Torrential rains (in January 2011) that have swept a limited area in the Eastern Desert, facing Assiut Province (Upper Egypt), resulted in enriching thevegetation in Wadi Al-Assiuty and its tributary Wadi Habib. Vegetation survey carried out shortly after this event (in May) revealed the prevalence of annuals which are hardly recognizable in such usually dry habitats. The normally scarce perennial vegetation has flourished. A total of 66 plant species, 33 perennials and 33 annuals, belonging to 53 genera from 22 different families were recorded. Therophytes are the predominant life form (50%) followed by chamaephytes (21%), phanerophytes (15%), hemicryptophytes (11%) and geophytes (3%). Chorological analysis revealed that Saharo-Arabian (81.8%) constitute the main bulk of the total flora of the studied area. The majority of the perennial species behave similarly to each other in their phenology, and usually perennials sprout at the end of February, become leafy in March, flower in April and produce fruits between April and July. The investigation revealed that the wadis studied are potential shelters of four vegetation groups. Twenty two of the recorded species (33.3%) are omnipresent and had a dominant degree of occurrence (Q-value ≥ 0.2). The highest among others were Zilla spinosa and Zygophyllum coccineum which recorded in 86% and 88% respectively of the studied stands and spread their dominancy all over the Eastern Desert of Egypt.
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