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Open AccessArticle

Microhabitats Affect Population Size and Plant Vigor of Three Critically Endangered Endemic Plants in Southern Sinai Mountains, Egypt

1
Botany and Microbiology Department, Faculty of Science, Alexandria University, Alexandria 21568, Egypt
2
Department of Applied Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Sharjah, P. O.Box 27272 Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
3
Sharjah Seed Bank and Herbarium, Sharjah Research Academy, P.O. Box 27272 Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
4
Nature Conservation Sector, Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency, Cairo 11728, Egypt
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 April 2019 / Revised: 24 May 2019 / Accepted: 29 May 2019 / Published: 31 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Multifunctional landscapes)
Endemic species on mountains often have narrow altitudinal ranges and are more threatened at the higher altitudes, especially with climate changes. However, plants could use special microhabitats at the mountain tops as proper places for surviving the climate change (i.e., refugia). We assessed population attributes of three critically endangered endemic species (Primula boveana Decne ex Duby, Rosa arabica Crep., and Silene leucophylla Boiss.) in two growing seasons (2006/2007 and 2013/2014), differing in the received rainfalls in microhabitats at the high mountains of southern Sinai. Both P. boveana and S. leucophylla had very small population size, but significantly increased in the 2013/2014 growing season which received above average rainfalls. The population of R. arabica is the smallest (around 40 individuals) and did not increase, even after the increase in rainfalls. Whereas P. boveana is present in fewer sites and grew in small number of specific microhabitats, both S. leucophylla and R. arabica were recorded in most studied sites and habitat types. Unlike R. arabica, both P. boveana and S. leucophylla were recorded in caves and steep slopes and on the top of the mountains. This indicates that these sheltered mist microhabitats are the best for future conservation of these species after climate change. View Full-Text
Keywords: endangered species; climate change; population size; conservation endangered species; climate change; population size; conservation
MDPI and ACS Style

Fakhry, A.M.; El-Keblawy, A.; Shabana, H.A.; Gamal, I.E.; Shalouf, A. Microhabitats Affect Population Size and Plant Vigor of Three Critically Endangered Endemic Plants in Southern Sinai Mountains, Egypt. Land 2019, 8, 86.

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