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Floristic diversity and vegetation analysis of Siwa Oasis: An ancient agro-ecosystem in Egypt’s Western Desert


Powell, O, Floristic diversity and vegetation analysis of Siwa Oasis: An ancient agro-ecosystem in Egypt's Western Desert, Annals of Agricultural Science, 60, (2) pp. 361-372. ISSN 0570-1783 (2015) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright 2015 Production and hosting by Elsevier B. V. on behalf of Faculty of Agriculture, Ain-Shams University. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.aoas.2015.10.010


The rapid development and expansion of modern irrigation schemes across arid environments have radically transformed both natural environments and existing agricultural systems over the past century. The consequences for natural and cultural values are often severe, but remain poorly documented for many regions. The present study describes the floristic diversity of an Oasis agro-ecosystem located in Egypt’s hyper-arid Western Desert. A total of 132 sites were chosen to represent the flora of Siwa Oasis agro-ecosystem and 154 species were recorded of which 52 were cultivated. Non-cultivated taxa consisted predominately of therophytes whereby the flora of Siwa is represented by monoregional, biregional and pluriregional elements as well as some cosmopolitan species. During field survey, 55 species were recorded for the first time suggesting the recent introduction of new weeds. Based on previous studies, 36 wetland and orchard species may have become locally extinct due to loss of habitat and extensive transformation of the Oasis agro-ecosystem. Although Siwa does not support any endemic species, this study documents a unique and complex agro-ecosystem shaped by natural and human agents over millennia. Descriptive floristic studies such as presented here are important records during a time of continuing and increasing change throughout arid regions of the world.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:floristic diversity, oasis, desert reclamation, environmental change, Siwa, Egypt
Research Division:History, Heritage and Archaeology
Research Group:Archaeology
Research Field:Archaeology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in history, heritage and archaeology
UTAS Author:Powell, O (Mr Owen Powell)
ID Code:121410
Year Published:2015
Deposited By:Office of the School of Humanities
Deposited On:2017-09-28
Last Modified:2017-10-04
Downloads:149 View Download Statistics

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