Effect of cement-kiln dust pollution on the vegetation in the western Mediterranean desert of Egypt

Amal, M.F.; Migahid, M.M.

Egyptian Journal of Botany 43(1/2): 29-42

2003


ISSN/ISBN: 0375-9237
Accession: 004419448

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Abstract
This study investigated the ecological effects of particulate pollution from a cement factory on the vegetation in the western Mediterranean coastal desert of Egypt. Variations in vegetation, soil chemical characters, and some responses of Atriplex halimus, as a dominant species in the study area, were investigated in some sites located in different directions from the cement factory between Burg El-Arab in the east and El-Hammam in the west. The results showed an obvious decrease in vegetation diversity, in response to cement-kiln dust pollution, that accompanied by a high dominance attributed to the high contribution of A. halimus. Annual species were found to be more sensitive to cement dust pollution as they all failed to persist in highly disturbed sites. It is remarkable that cover and phytomass of A. halimus were increased greatly in response to cement dust pollution, and this was accompanied by a reduction in the mature seeds and leaf-area of the plant. The few seeds of the affected individuals seemed to be more fertile and attained higher germination percentages and exhibited hardening against drought stress.