Spatial pattern analysis of Peganum harmala on the salted lower Chelif plain, Algeria

Adda ABABOU, Mohammed CHOUIEB, Abdelkader BOUTHIBA, Djamel SAIDI
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Peganum harmala L. (Zygophyllaceae), native to arid and semiarid rangeland, has been widely studied biochemically, pharmaceutically, and medicinally, but is largely unknown ecologically. In the lower Chelif, Algeria, this plant is largely present and shows a clear clumped pattern, which indicates the strong effects of environmental conditions. Our redundancy analysis showed that the geographic distribution of this species was positively correlated with sand and pH and negatively correlated with conductivity, Na+, and clay. The Gaussian model suggested that 9.4 mmhos/cm conductivity and sand contents greater than 40% are optimum for this plant. The spatial distribution map obtained through the kriging method in geographic information systems (GIS) revealed a complete absence of this plant on the eastern side of the study area, but a high degree of clumping on the western peripheries of the study area, which is characterised by a particular range of environmental conditions very favourable to P. harmala.


Key words: Peganum harmala, pattern analysis, redundancy analysis, kriging, lower Chelif, Algeria

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