Vegetation associations in the Great Western erg and the Saoura valley, Algeria
Benhouhou, Salima S.; Dargie, T. C. D.; Gilbert, O. L.
The description of the main associations found in sand dunes of the Great Western erg and saline river bed (wadi) in the Saoura valley were undertaken in the Beni-Abbes region (Algerian Sahara). The erg vegetation is defined by the Calligono-Aristidetum pungentis Quézel, 1965 and belongs to the Calligono-Aristidetea Géhu et al. 1994. Two new sub-associations are identified. One is found along the edge of the erg and is characterised by Danthonia fragilis. The other one is localised further inside the erg and is characterised by Calligonum azel. The saline wadi of the Saoura valley showed a well-defined structure with a newly described central wadi bed community, the Cistanche tinctoriae-Tamaricetum gallicae ass. nov. which belongs to the Nerio-Tamaricetea Br.-Bl. & Bolos 1957. A terrace grouping is characterised by the Tragano-Zygophylletum albae Quézel 1965. Higher units to which this saline community belongs to are the Sarcocornitea fruticosi R. Tx. Oberd. 1958, Limoniastretalia Guinochet 1951 and Zygophyllion albae Géhu et al. 1990.