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Volume :9 Issue : 33 1983      Add To Cart                                                                    Download

A PHYTOSOCIOLOGICAL SURVEY OF THE PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF YEMEN

Auther : By: Dr. Mohammed Nazir Sankary

          The people’s Democratic Republic of Yemen covers an area of 287683 km² harboring a population of approximately two million, which grows at an annual rate of 2.75%.  The country has no oil production and a very low per capita income.  The prevailing climate: desert and sub-desert tropical type, with erratic rainfall occurring during two seasons extending from April to May and from July to August.

          The tropical bixeric semi-humid and semi-arid areas cover only 0.07 and 0.7% of the land surface respectively, whilst sub-desert and desert areas cover 74 and 22%.   Uncertified sources designate 96% of the total area of South Yemen as rangelands, but in actual terms, only 33% have the regenerative capacity for economic range management.  Arable lands from 0.5% with only one seventh under permanent cropping.

          Most of the previous botanical literature (1846 – 1978) is mainly devoted to economical records and discoveries of ornamental succulents, with only three papers dealing with rangelands and ecology.

           This paper aims at surveying and describing the major plant communities and their potential associations in South Yemen.  It is based on field excursions carried out by the author in 1979-1980 and earlier trips to the adjacent countries in 1976-1980.

           South Yemen may be conveniently divided into six major geo-botanical regions with more than 29 major plant communities and 12 potential associations of semi-climax nature.  The main regions are: the coastal plains, the mountains, the internal plateau and the internal desert, which is an extension of the Empty Quarter.  Details concerning the dominant plant communities in each of these regions are included in the Arabic text of this paper, together with a potential plant association map showing the salient features of distribution.

           The author has also postulated a number of recommendations, which may help in achieving a proper terrain development.  Amongst which is the undertaking of an integrated and detailed ecological surveys, the adoption of appropriate range management policies, initiating re-vegetation reserves and sand dune fixation techniques, training the required personnel, the improvement of forage production…etc.

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