Ecosystem Services of the Flora of Southern Mediterranean Desert of Egypt

K. Shaltout, Dalia Abd El-Azeem Ahmed

Abstract


The present study aims at characterizing the economic The present study aims to evaluate the economic plant species in the Western Mediterranean Desert of Egypt according to the goods and services that they offer and identifying the threat types that govern their gradual change in the study area. Of the 969 species recognized in this region, 548 have at least 1 potential or actual good (56.6% of the total species). Medicinal plants were the most commonly identified, while timber plants were the least. In addition, 338 species (34.9% of the total species) have at least 1 environmental service. Sand accumulators were the most common services, while water purifiers were the least. 411 species (75.0% of the total economic species) suffer from at least 1 type of threat. 267 species suffer from the over-collecting and over-cutting (65.0% of the total threatened species), while 36 species suffer from disturbance by cars or trampling (8.8% of the total threatened species). Physical defenses against threats were noted and sorted into 6 groups of species. Among those, species with hairy leathery leaves and hairy stems were the most represented, while the hidden species were the least common.


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