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Patzelt A.,Oman Botanic Garden
Edinburgh Journal of Botany | Year: 2011

Vegetation analysis reveals that the Themeda quadrivalvis tall-grass savannah in Oman, southern Arabia, forms a clearly defined belt with strong edaphic and geomorphological characteristics. The newly described association Desmodio gangetico-Themedetum quadrivalvis ass. nov. is interpreted as an impoverished easternmost outlier of the East African savannah. © 2011 Trustees of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

Brinkmann K.,University of Kassel | Patzelt A.,Oman Botanic Garden | Schlecht E.,University of Kassel | Buerkert A.,University of Kassel
Applied Vegetation Science | Year: 2011

Question: Can we predict the spatial distribution of plant communities in semi-arid rangelands based on a limited set of environmental variables? Where are priority areas for conservation located?Location: Al Jabal al Akhdar, Sultanate of Oman.Methods: A Classification Tree Analysis (CTA) was used to model the presence/absence of seven rangeland communities and agricultural areas based on seven selected environmental predictor variables. The latter were either obtained from existing digital datasets or derived from a digital elevation model and satellite images, whereas the grazing intensity was spatially modelled with the kernel density estimation technique. The resulting decision rules of a CTA were applied for predictive mapping within the study area (400 km2, resolution of 5 m) by means of ENVI's decision tree classifier. Plant communities of natural rangelands were subsequently evaluated to determine priority areas for nature conservation.Results: Altitude, grazing intensity and landform revealed the highest predictive power. Most of the rangelands were predicted as Sideroxylon-Oleetum. The overall classification accuracy was 89%, whereby agricultural areas and the Ziziphus spina-christi-Nerium oleander community at wadi sites had no misclassification. Inaccuracies occurred mainly because of low sample numbers and errors in available maps of predictor variables. The highest rank for nature conservation was observed for the Teucrio-Juniperetum occupying 20% of the study area.Conclusions: Vegetation mapping using CTA is a valuable tool for rangeland monitoring and identification of key representative areas for nature conservation. An extrapolation of the model used might be feasible to regions adjacent to the central Hajar Mountains. © 2010 International Association for Vegetation Science.

Van Kleunen M.,University of Konstanz | Dawson W.,University of Konstanz | Essl F.,University of Vienna | Pergl J.,Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic | And 44 more authors.
Nature | Year: 2015

All around the globe, humans have greatly altered the abiotic and biotic environment with ever-increasing speed. One defining feature of the Anthropocene epoch is the erosion of biogeographical barriers by human-mediated dispersal of species into new regions, where they can naturalize and cause ecological, economic and social damage. So far, no comprehensive analysis of the global accumulation and exchange of alien plant species between continents has been performed, primarily because of a lack of data. Here we bridge this knowledge gap by using a unique global database on the occurrences of naturalized alien plant species in 481 mainland and 362 island regions. In total, 13,168 plant species, corresponding to 3.9% of the extant global vascular flora, or approximately the size of the native European flora, have become naturalized somewhere on the globe as a result of human activity. North America has accumulated the largest number of naturalized species, whereas the Pacific Islands show the fastest increase in species numbers with respect to their land area. Continents in the Northern Hemisphere have been the major donors of naturalized alien species to all other continents. Our results quantify for the first time the extent of plant naturalizations worldwide, and illustrate the urgent need for globally integrated efforts to control, manage and understand the spread of alien species. © 2015 Macmillan Publishers Limited.

Anderson A.B.,Oman Botanic Garden
51st World Congress of the International Federation of Landscape Architects, IFLA 2014 | Year: 2014

Andrew is a practicing landscape architect with nearly twenty years of professional experience in the design, management, conservation and restoration of landscapes. As the only landscape architect with a UNESCO Master of Science in World Heritage Management (University College Dublin), Andrew combines his expertise in natural and cultural resource management with a deep understanding of the ecological processes that shape the land and the value of landscape aesthetics. His work experience spans the private, public and academic sectors, and he has instructed landscape architecture university courses in Canada, Ireland and the Middle East. With a diverse range of professional experience, Andrew's current research interests include native and endemic plant conservation in arid environments, natural habitat restoration, landscape archaeology, ethnobotany, planting design, and design theory. A dedicated wanderer, he can usually be found exploring new places and meeting new people. Andrew is the landscape architect for the Diwan of Royal Court in the Sultanate of Oman, responsible for integrating emerging scientific knowledge about the native plants and landscapes of Oman with the design and construction of the Oman Botanic Garden. The Oman Botanic Garden will present the native and endemic plants of Oman, combined with the rich cultural heritage of the country.

Al-Abbasi T.M.,National Commission for Wildlife Conservation and Development NCWCD | Al-Farhan A.,King Saud University | Al-Khulaidi A.W.,Agricultural Research and Extension Authority AREA | Hall M.,Center for Middle Eastern Plants | And 3 more authors.
Edinburgh Journal of Botany | Year: 2010

An Important Plant Area programme has been initiated for the Arabian region by the IUCN Arabian Plant Specialist Group. The aim of this programme is to assess hotspots of plant diversity in the region and designate the most important as Important Plant Areas. These assessments are conducted on the basis of specific criteria and this paper presents the criteria which have been adopted for the Arabian Peninsula countries of Saudi Arabia, Oman and Yemen. These Arabian criteria differ from those originally developed for Europe, and so they are presented here in full. This paper also discusses the context of the Important Plant Area programme and its ability to provide a framework for conservation planning. © 2010 Trustees of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh.

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