Biodiversity of Halophytic Vegetation in Chott Zehrez Lake of Djelfa (Algeria)


Mediterranean large lakes play an important role in providing a range of ecosystem functions and supporting biodiversity. The conservation and management of these lakes require more detailed knowledge of their ecology and environment-vegetation relationships. Chotts are probably the most poorly understood lake ecosystems. Chott Zehrez (Djelfa) as a large, shallow lake ecosystem in Algerian steppes, where wetlands are important part of their productivity. Despite the status of chott Zehrez lake as a Ramsar site, the main threat to its conservation is the private nature of surrounding land holdings in addition to the lack of knowledge and awareness by the local population of the importance of lake ecosystems. A wealth of halophytic flora exists which can be exploited for an array of uses like fodder, fuel wood, oilseed, medicines, landscaping, and environment conservation through carbon sequestration. A total 112 species belonging to 26 families and 39 genera were recorded. The sabkha flora includes 9 endangered and endemic species such as Avena bromoides, Cutandia divaricata, Herniaria mauritanica and Salicornia arabica. In this paper we mainly discussed characteristics and importance of Chott Zehrez lake ecosystem, its vegetation potentialities and economic usages will be also presented and discussed. Finally conservation strategy and restoration of this ecosystem are suggested.

Share and Cite:

B. Nedjimi, B. Beladel and B. Guit, "Biodiversity of Halophytic Vegetation in Chott Zehrez Lake of Djelfa (Algeria)," American Journal of Plant Sciences, Vol. 3 No. 11, 2012, pp. 1527-1534. doi: 10.4236/ajps.2012.311184.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] M. Khaznadar, I. N. Vogiatzakis and G. H. Griffiths, “Land Degradation and Vegetation Distribution in Chott El Beida Wetland, Algeria,” Journal of Arid Environments, [Vol. 73, No. 3, 2009, pp. 369-377. doi:10.1016/j.jaridenv.2008.09.026
[2] M. Pouget, “Les Relations Sol-Végétation dans les Steppes Sud-Algéroises,” Edition ORSTOM, Paris, 1980, 555 p.
[3] J. Aronson, “HALOPH; Salt Tolerant Plants for the World—A Computerized Global Data Base of Halophytes with Emphasis on Their Economic Uses,” University of Arizona Press, Tucson, 1989.
[4] M. A. Khan and N. C. Duke, “Halophytes—A Resource for the Future,” Wetlands Ecology and Management, Vol. 9, No. 6, 2001, pp. 455-456. doi:10.1023/A:1012211726748
[5] H. M. El Shaer, “Halophytes and Salt-Tolerant Plants as Potential Forage for Ruminants in the Near East Region,” Small Ruminant Research, Vol. 91, No. 1, 2010, pp. 3-12. doi:10.1016/j.smallrumres.2010.01.010
[6] A. Boumezbeur and M. Benhadj, “Fiche Descriptive sur les Zones Humides RAMSAR, Chott Zahrez chergui (Algérie),” Direction Générale des Forêts, 2003, 10 p.
[7] M. Pouget, “Les Plages de Salure sur les Glacis Qua-ternaires a Cro?te Calcaire,” Bulletin Société Histoire Naturelle Afrique Nord, Vol. 64, No. 1-2, 1973, pp. 15-24.
[8] H. N. Le Houérou, “Biogeography of the Arid Steppeland North of the Sahara,” Journal of Arid Environments, Vol. 48, No. 2, 2001, pp. 103-128. doi:10.1006/jare.2000.0679
[9] P. Quezel and S. Santa, “Nouvelle Flore de l’Algérie et des Régions Méridionales,” Edition CNRS, Paris, 196, 1165 p.
[10] M. A. Khan and M. Qaiser, “Halophytes of Pakistan: Characteristics, Distribution and Potential Economic Usages,” In: M. A. Khan, G. S. Kust, H. J. Barth and B. B?er, Eds., Sabkha Ecosystems, Vol. 2, Springer, Dordrecht, 2006, pp. 129-153.
[11] M. A. Khan and I. Aziz, “Salinity Tolerance of Some Mangroves from Pakistan,” Wetland Ecology and Management, Vol. 9, 2001, pp. 228-332.
[12] H. N. Le Houérou, “The Role of Saltbushes (Atriplex spp.) in Arid Land Rehabilitation in the Mediterranean Basin: A Review,” Agroforestry Systems, Vol. 18, No. 2, 1992, pp. 107-148. doi:10.1007/BF00115408
[13] B. Nedjimi and Y. Daoud, “Effects of Calcium Chloride on Growth, Membrane Permeability and Root Hydraulic Conductivity in Two Atriplex Species Grown at High (Sodium Chloride) Salinity,” Journal of Plant Nutrition, Vol. 32, No. 11, 2009, pp. 1818-1830. doi:10.1080/01904160903242342
[14] M. A. Khan, R. Ansari, B. Gul and M. Qadir, “Crop Diversification through Halophyte Production on Salt- Prone Land Resources,” CAB Reviews, Vol. 48, 2006, pp. 1-8.
[15] B. Nedjimi, “Salt Tolerance Strategies of Lygeum spartum L.: A New Fodder Crop for Algerian Saline Steppes,” Flora, Vol. 204, No. 10, 2009, pp. 747-754. doi:10.1016/j.flora.2008.11.004
[16] B. Nedjimi, “Rangeland Improvement and Management Options in the Arid Steppes of Algeria,” In: M. G. Denise, Ed., “Steppe Ecosystems: Dynamics, Land Use and Conservation,” Nova Science Publishers, Inc., New York, 2012, pp. 157-170.
[17] B. Nedjimi, “Seasonal Variation in Productivity, Water Relations and Ion Contents of Atriplex halimus subsp. schweinfurthii Grown in Chott Zehrez Wetland, Algeria,” Journal of the Saudi Society of Agricultural Sciences, Vol. 11, 2012, pp. 43-49. doi:10.1016/j.jssas.2011.08.002
[18] A. Atia, A. Debez, Z. Barhoumi, C. Abdelly and A. Smaoui, “Localization and Composition of Seed Oils of Crithmum maritimum L. (Apiaceae),” African Journal of Biotechnology, Vol. 9, No. 39, 2010, pp. 6482-6485.
[19] D. J. Weber, R. Ansari, B. Gul and M. A. Khan, “Potential of Halophytes as Source of Edible Oil,” Journal of Arid Environments, Vol. 68, No. 2, 2007, pp. 315-321. doi:10.1016/j.jaridenv.2006.05.010
[20] R. Choukr-Allah, “The Potential of Salt-Tolerant Plants for Utilisation of Saline Water,” Options Méditerranéennes, Vol. 31, 1997, pp. 313-325.
[21] Z. Kefu, F. Hai and I.A. Ungar, “Survey of Halophyte Species in China,” Plant Science, Vol. 163, No. 3, 2002, pp. 491-498. doi:10.1016/S0168-9452(02)00160-7
[22] B. Nedjimi, B. Guit, M. Toumi, B. Beladel, A. Akam and Y. Daoud, “Atriplex halimus subsp. schweinfurthii (Chenopodiaceae): Description, Usefulness and Therapeutic Virtue,” Revue Fourrages, 2012, in Press.

Copyright © 2021 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.