Distribution of Halopeplis perfoliata (Forssk) Bunge ex Schweinf. in the Red Sea Coastal Salt Marshes: Phytosociological Relations and Responses to Soils

M. N. El-Shourbagy, O.H. Al-Eidarosa, H.S Al-Zahrani

Abstract


The distributional patterns of Halopeplis perfoliata (Forssk) Bunge ex Schweinf., one of the dominant salt marsh halophytes of littoral vegetation has been studied with several environmental variables. The study area is located as a transitional zone between the Mediterranean and tropical coastal salt marshes. Ten sites (stands) were described, each is well defined and represents a sociologically distinct entity. Application of cluster analysis and the Wisconsin two- dimensional ordination technique led to the recognition of 4 sets of stands. The distributional pattern of H. perfoliata seems to be controlled by seasonal changes in a complex of interrelated environmental variables, such as soil moisture, pH, EC, total nitrogen, and some mineral ions. Analysis of the relationship between these variables and those of H. perfoliata showed highly significant correlations regarding K+ in all seasons, which would provide evidence for its role in the adjustment mechanism of this halophyte.


Keywords


Halopeplis perfoliata; Red Sea; Coastal salt marshes; halophyte distributional pattern; cluster analysis; ordination technique; seasonal changes adjustment; environmental variables

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