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Fytosociologische en ecologische aspecten van brakwaterschorren langs de Zeeschelde (België) = Phytosociological and ecological aspects of the brackish salt marshes along the Zeeschelde (Belgium)
Elbana, M.I.B. (1993). Fytosociologische en ecologische aspecten van brakwaterschorren langs de Zeeschelde (België) = Phytosociological and ecological aspects of the brackish salt marshes along the Zeeschelde (Belgium). MSc Thesis. University of Ghent. Faculty of Agricultural and Applied Biological Sciences. International Center for Eremology: Gent. IV, 80 pp.

Thesis info:
    Ghent University; Faculty of Agricultural and Applied Biological Sciences, more

Available in Author 
    VLIZ: Non-open access 141036
Document type: Dissertation

Keywords
    Ecology; Phytosociology; Salt marshes; Belgium, Zeeschelde [Marine Regions]; Brackish water

Author  Top 
  • Elbana, M.I.B.

Abstract
    The present study gives a general picture of the relation between the vegetation and the spatial variations in environmental factors controlling the distribution of vegetation on the schorre-areas along the Zeeschelde estuary between the city of Antwerpen and the Belgian- Dutch border. Special attention was given to the Schor Van Doel (between the Belgian-Dutch border and the nuclear power plant of Doel at the left bank of the river .Thirty-two vegetation relevés were made, in which 39 species, including two algae were recorded. The species belong to nineteen families. Poaceae (15 %), Chenopodiaceae (13 %), Asteraceae and Polygonaceae (8 % each) are the most important families present in the flora of the area under investigation.The Two Way Indicator Species Analysis (TWINSPAN) classified the vegetation into nine plant communities. Three of these communities are bound to the fresh marsh habitat upstream the village of Lillo; their characteristic species combinations are: Scirpus tabemaemontani, Phragmites australis-Calysfegia sepium and Scirpus tabemaemontani- Spergularia salina respectively. The other six communities are represtatives of the brackish marsh habitat downstream the village of Lillo. Their characteristic species combinations are: Phragmites australis- Asfer tripolium, Elymus alhericus, Afriplex prostrafa, Scirpus maritimus, Puccinellia marifima-Plantago maritime, and Vaucheria-Salicomia brachystachya- Salicomia dolichostachya. All six plant communities were recognized at the Schor Van Doel, where they were mapped and compared with the former vegetation.Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA) and Detrended Canonica1 Correspondence Ana1ysis (DCCA) were used to study species-environment relationships. The distribution of species and communities was best correlated with site elevation, reflecting inundation frequency and soil texture.The results indicate that at the present elevation, and absence of disturbance (cattle grazing), the vegetation will within soon be completely dominated by Elymus athericus and/or Phragmites australis. This suggests the urgency of re-introduction of grazing and/or mowing to refresh the halophytic elements and to obtain higher diversity. This will attribute to the nature conservancy value of the area.

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