VEGETATION MAPPING AND DEVELOPMENT OF A METHOD FOR THE VEGETATION TYPIFICATION IN THE ARABIAN PENINSULA
Keywords:IPSA, Vegetation community, Vegetation type, Vegetation mapping, Saudi Arabia, Vegetation typification
The study aims to generate vegetation mapping for the study area's existing vegetation and apply a vegetation typification approach that can be used to identify the vegetation structure of any region in the Arabian Peninsula. To highlight the plant diversity and the vegetation communities for nature conservation purposes, a case study in Albaha region, Saudi Arabia is presented, in which the natural vegetation communities and vegetation types of one of the Important Plant Species Areas (IPSA) of Saudi Arabia is evaluated. In an area of 167.6 km2, 97 samples, each with 20X20 m were laid out covering the whole ecological zones of the study area. Data on flora, vegetation cover and topography were gathered from each sample site using Braun-Blanquet method. ITC approach of vegetation typification according to three dimensions (trees, shrubs, and herbs) is applied to identify the structures of each vegetation type. The results showed 319 plant species belonging to 228 genera and 75 families. These species were analyzed and classified into three plant communities and 14 different vegetation types using multivariate analysis program (MVSP) software. Using the percentage of trees, shrubs and herbs, the three-dimensional graphics of vegetation structure presented in this study can be used to determine the vegetation structure of any region in the Arabian Peninsula.