Plant Ecology

, Volume 163, Issue 1, pp 63–75 | Cite as

Vegetation composition of a threatened hypersaline lake (Lake Bardawil), North Sinai

  • Magdy El-Bana
  • Abdel-Hameid Khedr
  • Piet Van Hecke
  • Jan Bogaert


Lake Bardawil is the only oligotrophic hypersaline lagoon along theMediterranean coast of Egypt. Its ecological significance is increasing due tothe progressive degradation of comparable wetlands in the region. The aim ofthis study is to analyse the structure and life forms of the vegetation alongthe lake before the execution of the North Sinai Agricultural DevelopmentProject (NSADP) which will threaten the ecosystem of the lake. A data set of150 stands was analysed using multivariate procedures(TWINSPAN, DCA and CCA), to classify the lake's vegetation, and to determinetherelationship between the plant community structure and the environmentalfactors. The classification and ordination resulted in a clear demonstration ofnine vegetation groups associated with four habitat types: submerged seagrasses, salt marshes and sabkhahs, eastern and middle calcareous dunes, andwestern non-calcareous dunes. The first axis of the CCA-ordination separatesthe salt marshes andsabkhahs species from those of the sand dunes along the soil salinity, watertable depth, cations, and pH gradients. CaCO3 and soil textureshowedhighly significant correlation with the second axis of CCA which was animportant predictor for the psammophytic species distribution. The life formsranged from hydrophytes (sea grasses) to phanerophyteswith the dominance of therophytes and chamaephytes. Geophytes and chamaephytesdominate the saline habitats, while therophytes and hemicryptophytes dominatedthe sandy dunes. Eventhough the eastern section of the lake (Lake Zaraniq) wasdeclared as a RAMSAR site, Lake Bardawil needs urgent management to prevent itspollution by the new land use system.

Calcareous islands Life forms Mediterranean coast Multivariate analysis RAMSAR Sabkhahs Sand dunes 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Magdy El-Bana
    • 1
  • Abdel-Hameid Khedr
    • 2
  • Piet Van Hecke
    • 1
  • Jan Bogaert
    • 1
  1. 1.Biology Department, Research Group of Plant and Vegetation EcologyUniversity of Antwerp (UIA)WilrijkBelgium
  2. 2.Department of BotanyMansoura University, Faculty of Science at DamiettaNew DamiettaEgypt

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