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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/19401

Title: Plant Diversity in Ghada Reserve, Unaizah
Authors: alkhelifi, Abdulkareem abdulrahman a
Keywords: Plant Diversity
Ghada Reserve
Issue Date: 4-May-2010
Abstract: Rangelands are important component of renewable natural resources in Saudi Arabia. They play an important role in maintaining livestock industry of the country. However, these rangelands are currently overexploited by means of grazing; firewood gathering, ecotourism and other human activities. Attention should be given to rangelands for future generations. Rangeland conservation is one of the most prominent practices to maintain renewable plant resources and prevent land degradation, loss of vegetation and desertification. The current study was conducted in Al-Ghada Reserve, Unaizah, located in the center of Al- Qassim region (25 º – 26 º N, 43 º - 44 º E, altitude 630-724 m asl.). Al-Ghada Reserve is one of the oldest protected areas and most famous places frequently explored by residents of the Al-Qaseem region. The main aim of the present study is to build a database of information on vegetation cover through the following objectives: 1. Inventory of plant species in protected areas. 2. Delineate plant communities in the reserve. 3. Compare of the vegetation with previous studies of the region. Vegetation attributes, namely density, frequency and coverage were measured in fifteen locations. Within each location, six quadrats (each 10m×10m) were distributed randomly to measure the vegetation attributes. Soil samples were collected from each location at a depth of 30 cm for determining physical and chemical properties. A total of 72 plant species were recorded that belonging to belonging to 62 genera and 26 families. Thirty six species were perennials. These include Haloxylon persicum, Tamarix nilotica, Calotropis procera and Deverra triradiata. The rest of species (50%) were annuals. They included Schismus barbatus, Anthemis deserti, Allium atroviolaceum, Malva parviflora, and Plantago boissieri. Seventeen species were shrubs, representing 23.61% of the total species. These include Haloxylon salicornicum, Scrophularia hypericifolia, Zygophyllum migahidii. Fifty five species were herbaceous representing (76.39%) of total observed species. They included Centropodia forskalii, Tripleurospermum auriculatum, Monsonia nivea, and Rumex vesicarius. The application of multivariate statistical analysis techniques in the terms of classification (Cluster Analysis) and ordination (Deternded Correspondence Analysis (DCA), and Canonical Correspondence Analysis (CCA)) were employed to identify vegetation types and their relevance to the underlying environmental gradients. Four vegetation groups were identified as follows: (1) Haloxylon salicornicum - H. persicum - Moltikiopsis ciliata, (2) H. salicornicum – M. ciliata, (3) H. salicornicum - Calligonum comosu - Stipagrostis plumosa, and (4) C. comosum - Deverra triradiata. The results of the CCA indicated that the cumulative variance explained by the first three axes was 65.4%. According to these results, the vegetation distribution in the study area was mainly affected by soil texture, CaCO3 content. The study indicated that vegetation represents different stages of succession. For example, Haloxylon persicum community represents climax, while the presence of other species such as annuals would suggest a sign of degradation. The study also indicates that protection increases the percentage of vegetation cover, density and frequency dramatically for all plant species that control soil erosion by wind and water. There is evidence that species diversity has increased within protected area, a promising sign that demonstrates the ability of plants to regenerate naturally if given the opportunity to do so. Therefore, a management plan should be inserted to conserve and maintain the biodiversity in the reserve.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/19401
Appears in Collections:College of Science

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