The vegetation of southern Sinai is subjected to great disturbance through unmanaged human activities, including overgrazing, overcutting, uprooting, tourism and quarrying. Many plant species are threatened due to the severe impact of grazing and human activities. The present chapter addresses the main question; how does grazing change the vegetation and its structure in the main wadis in south Sinai? The survey was designed for the vegetation of protectorate and adjacent wadis (overview and identification) and to quantify the grazing intensity in the main wadis. Eighteen main localities within and adjacent to the Saint Catherine Protectorate were studied through choosing 54 stands from whole area. In each stand three transects (500 m in length) were distributed randomly to estimate grazing intensity (based on grazing index), total cover percent, and current species status. Three hundred and sixteen species were identified, including 19 endemic species, 10 extremely endangered, 53 endangered and 37 vulnerable species. The grazing intensity was significantly and negatively correlated with species richness, number of endangered species (extremely endangered, endangered, vulnerable), number of endemic species and total plant cover. The results showed that 50% of selected localities was overgrazed, 27.8% had high grazing, 16.7% medium grazing and 5.6% low grazing intensity. Mt. Catherine showed the highest percentage of both species richness and number of endemic species while W.El-Kid and W. Nabq have the lowest values of species richness and no endemic species. At the same time, W. El-kid and W. Nabq showed the highest number of endangered species and a huge reduction in the total cover percentage due to overgrazing activities.
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- Impact of Grazing on the Vegetation of South Sinai, Egypt
AbdEl-Raouf A. Moustafa
- Springer Berlin Heidelberg
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