Journal article
Vegetation patterns and diversity along an altitudinal and a grazing gradient in the Jabal al Akhdar mountain range of northern Oman



Publication Details
Authors:
Brinkmann, K.; Schlecht, E.; Dickhöfer, U.; Patzelt, A.; Bürkert, A.
Publication year:
2009
Journal:
Journal of Arid Environments
Pages range:
1035-1045
Volume number:
73
Start page:
1035
End page:
1045
ISSN:
0140-1963

Abstract
Little is known about the effects of grazing on vegetation composition on the Arabian Peninsula. The aim of this study therefore was to analyse the vegetation response to environmental conditions of open woodlands along an altitudinal and a grazing gradient in the Jabal al Akhdar mountain range of Oman. The species composition, vegetation structure, grazing damage and several environmental variables were investigated for 62 samples using a nested plot design. Classification analysis and a Canonical Variate Analysis (CVA) were used to define vegetation types and to identify underlying environmental gradients. The relationship between environmental variables and diversity was analysed using correlation coefficients and a main-effects ANOVA. The plant species richness followed a unimodal distribution along the altitudinal gradient with the highest number of species at the intermediate altitudinal belt. The cluster analysis led to five vegetation groups: The Sideroxylon mascatense-Dodonaea viscosa group on grazed and the Olea europaea-Fingerhuthia africana group on ungrazed plateau sites at 2000 m a.s.l., the Ziziphus spina-christi-Nerium oleander group at wadi sites and the Moringa peregrina-Pteropyrum scoparium group at 1200 m a.s.l, and the Acacia gerrardii-Leucas inflata group at 1700 in a.s.l. The CVA indicated a clear distinction of the groups obtained by the agglomrative Cluster analysis. The landform, altitude and grazing intensity were found to be the most important variables distinguishing between clusters. overgrazing of the studied rangeland is an increasing environmental problem, whereas the plant composition at ungrazed sites pointed to a relatively fast and high regeneration potential of the local vegetation. (C) 2009 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Last updated on 2019-01-11 at 16:06