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Floral Species as Environmental Quality Indicators in Jordan: High Salinity and Alkalinity Environments

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DOI: 10.4236/jep.2015.65047    3,231 Downloads   3,703 Views   Citations

ABSTRACT

In this study the occurrence and ecology of plant assemblages are investigated, mainly for use as indicator plants of saline grounds in several locations in Jordan. High alkalinity and H2S-rich water tolerant species of plants are also discussed. Plants growing on salty grounds have distinct composition regarding their place in the taxonomic system. Plant assemblages and their degree of tolerance to salinity as in Karama area in the Jordan Valley are found to be distinct from that of Azraq Sabkha (Cental Jordan) with salt-tolerant flora. Karama area provides the living space for Mesembryanthemum on the saltiest ground, Suaeda further up on wetter surrounding and Salicornia succeeding on moist and less salty grounds. Drier places with rather salty grounds have bushes of Arthrocnemum, while slightly less salty places are preferred by Tamarix tetragyna. When Prosopis bushes appear, salt is only present periodically in the ground, as is also the case with Atriplex halimus and Capparis. In Azraq the former beach of a temporal lake is characterized by two species of Spergularia in its saltier parts and by Tamarix passerinoides. It was recognized that Tamarix, Phragmites, Chenopodium, and Inula represented alkaline water tolerant plants. The study concludes that the salt concentration in the ground is reflected in the composition of the flora growing on it. On the other hand, plants are also found vulnerable to fluctuation in the salt concentration of their environments with different resistance degrees. This makes them excellent bioindicators of salty environments.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

Alhejoj, I. , Bandel, K. and Salameh, E. (2015) Floral Species as Environmental Quality Indicators in Jordan: High Salinity and Alkalinity Environments. Journal of Environmental Protection, 6, 494-514. doi: 10.4236/jep.2015.65047.

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