Saharan halophytics
The Saharan halophytics ecoregion (WWF ID:PA0905) covers a series of low-lying evaporite depressions and wetlands spread across North Africa. The depressions are characteristically saline, variously chotts (saline lakes fed by groundwater and some winter rains) or sabkhas (coastal, supratidal mudflats of evaporites). The plants of the areas are highly specialized to survive in the harsh environment, with many being xerophytess (drought-tolerant) and halophytes (salt-tolerant). The biodiversity of the areas has been relatively protected by their isolation, and unsuitability of alkaline soil for farming.[1][2][3][4]
Saharan halophytics

Siwa Oasis, Egypt

Ecoregion territory (in purple)
BiomeFlooded grasslands and savannas
Area54,031 km2 (20,861 sq mi)
CountryMauritania, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt
Coordinates29.25°S 25.75°E
Location and description
The sites making up this ecoregion contain a wide variety of habitat types: salt pans, seasonal salt lakes, salt marshes, reed beds, and spring-fed oases. Chott and sebkha areas exist in arid regions with clay soils heavy with evaporites. Specific locations assigned to this ecoregion include:
The site are surrounded by terrain of the North Saharan steppe and woodlands ecoregion that extends across the northern Sahara.[2]
The climate of the ecoregion is Hot desert climate (Köppen climate classification (BWh)). This climate features stable air and high pressure aloft, producing a hot, arid desert. Hot-month temperatures typically average 29–35 °C (84–95 °F).[8][9] Rainfall varies between 10–100 millimetres (0.39–3.94 in) per year.[1]
Flora and fauna
Megarine Oasis, Tunisia
Vegetation within a site varies by soil salinity and sand tenure; these typically vary by distance from the center of a salt pan. Common species include Picklegrass (Salicornia), the generally subshrub genera Salsola, Saltbush (Atriplex), Halocnemum strobilaceum, and White wormwood (Artemisia herba-alba).
While there are some large mammals in these areas, the most common mammals are gerbils (the North African gerbil Gerbillus campestris and the Dipodillus). An example of species diversity is that of the Chott el Hodna, in which have been identified 550 species of plants, 119 species of birds, 10 of reptiles and 20 of mammals. Animals of conservation in this area include the vulnerable Cuvier's gazelle (Gazella cuvieri) and the vulnerable Houbara bustard (Chlamydotis undulata).[4]
Protected areas
Over 25% of the ecoregion is officially protected.[3] These protected areas include:
Chott el Djerid
  1. ^ a b "Saharan halophytics". World Wildlife Federation. Retrieved March 21, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "Map of Ecoregions 2017". Resolve, using WWF data. Retrieved September 14, 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Saharan halophytics". Digital Observatory for Protected Areas. Retrieved August 1, 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Saharan halophytics". The Encyclopedia of Earth. Retrieved August 28, 2020.
  5. ^ "Annotated list of Ramsar Sites in Algeria"(PDF) (pdf). Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. Retrieved October 31, 2020.
  6. ^ "Chott el Hodna" (PDF) (pdf). Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. Retrieved October 31, 2020.
  7. ^ "Siwa - Oasis Extraordinary". Aramco World. Retrieved October 30, 2020.
  8. ^ Kottek, M., J. Grieser, C. Beck, B. Rudolf, and F. Rubel, 2006. "World Map of Koppen-Geiger Climate Classification Updated" (PDF). Gebrüder Borntraeger 2006. Retrieved September 14, 2019.
  9. ^ "Dataset - Koppen climate classifications". World Bank. Retrieved September 14, 2019.
Last edited on 24 November 2020, at 13:44
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