Is soil salinity one of the major determinants of community structure under arid environments?

Abstract

Five distinct habitats along salinity gradient were explored for plant ecological attributes including soil plant interaction, vegetation composition and species distribution in the Cholistan desert. Higher saline sites supported Sporobolus ioclados with Aeluropus lagopoides, Cymbopogon jwarancusa, Ochthochloa compressa, Haloxylon recurvum and Suaeda fruticosa, whereas moderately saline habitats supported predominantly Fagonia indica, C. jwarancusa and O. compressa. The community structure and composition of each habitat type were very specific, the most dominant component being S. ioclados. Each species has very specific relation to different environmental variables, and this reflects the habitat status, ecological adaptations and stress tolerance degree of the individual species. On the whole, it can be concluded that salinity alone was not responsible for the distribution of species at salt affected habitats.

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Naz, N., Hameed, M., Ahmad, M.S.A. et al. Is soil salinity one of the major determinants of community structure under arid environments?. COMMUNITY ECOLOGY 11, 84–90 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1556/ComEc.11.2010.1.12

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Keywords

  • CCA
  • Halophytes
  • Soil pH
  • Soil salinity
  • Species distribution