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Acta Botanica Croatica

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Spatial and temporal plant phenological niche differentiation in the Wadi Degla desert ecosystem (Egypt)

Ahmad K. Hegazy
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Botany and Microbiology, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, P.O. Box 2455, Saudi Arabia
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Abdelrahman A. Alatar
  • Department of Botany and Microbiology, College of Science, King Saud University, Riyadh 11451, P.O. Box 2455, Saudi Arabia
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Jon Lovett-Doust / Hosam A. El-Adawy
  • Natural Resources Surveying Department, Environmental Studies and Research Institute, Minofiya University, Sadat City, Egypt
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Published Online: 2012-10-31 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/v10184-011-0057-2


Twenty dominant plant species representing different life forms were investigated phenologically over a period of 36 months (January 2004 to December 2006). Plant populations were sampled at down-, mid-, and upstream sites in a desert wadi ecosystem. The results were analyzed using TWINSPAN, DCA and CCA techniques. Five phenological niches were apparent: (1) species flowering all year round, with peaks in spring and autumn such as Ochradenus baccatus; (2) species flowering during winter including Lycium shawii and Tamarix nilotica; (3) species flowering during spring, e.g., Zillaspinosa, Zygophyllum coccineum and Capparis spinosa; (4) species flowering during summer including Iphiona mucronata and Deverra triradiata; and (5) species flowering during autumn that include Atriplex halimus and two Anabasis species. The climatic variables, including temperature, rainfall and relative humidity, affect the phenological niches and between-species differences. Within-species variations occurred between years and there were no between-site variations for most study species. The different plant species exhibited phenological diversity along the course of the wadi ecosystem. The phenological niches are species-specific and environmentally dependent rather than local selective pressures.

Keywords: Desert; environment; flowering; Egypt; life forms; phenology; niche

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About the article

OPLER, P. A., FRANKIE, G. W.,BAKER, H. G., 1980: Comparative phenological wet and dry studies of



Published Online: 2012-10-31

Published in Print: 2012-10-01

Citation Information: Acta Botanica Croatica, Volume 71, Issue 2, Pages 261–277, ISSN (Online) 0365-0588, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/v10184-011-0057-2.

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