Vegetation and Species Diversity in the Northern Sector of Eastern Desert, Egypt
The study aims to assess the vegetation and plant diversity in relation to edaphic factors at three sites (Cairo- Suez, Ain Sokhnia-Makattam desert roads and Wadi Hagul) in northern sector of Eastern Desert. The results revealed that northern sector of Eastern Desert (The Galalah Desert) harbors had 95 species (36 annuals, two biennial and 57 perennials) with high taxonomic diversity (species/genera = 1.17 and genera/families = 3.12). The largest families were Asteraceae comprising 22 species, followed by Poaceae, 11 species, Brassicaceae and Chenopodiaceae, 7 species each, Fabaceae 6 species, Zygophyllaceae, 5 species. Zilla spinosa and Zygophyllum coccineum had a wide ecological range of distribution (P = 63.3% and 61.7%, respectively). On the other hand, Zygophyllum simplex, Matthiola longipetala and Senecio glaucus showed the highest presence estimates among annuals (P = 38.3%, 31.7% and 30%, respectively). Species richness, Shannon-Weiner H and Simpson indices measurements indicated that group D and B are the most diverse group followed by group A and C in the present study. The main dominant species include Haloxylon salicornicum, Launaea nudicaulis, Zilla spinosa and Zygophyllum coccineum. Soil physical properties in addition to soil salinity and human activities are the main driving factors controlling the distribution of wild plants in the northern sector of Eastern Desert.