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Checklist of the native tree flora of Algeria: diversity, distribution, and conservation

Abstract : Background and aims – Trees represent an important component of many ecosystems of the world. The knowledge of their diversity and geographic distribution is of great theoretical and practical importance. This paper aims to provide the first comprehensive checklist of native tree taxa in Algeria. Material and methods – The checklist was based on the analysis of published data and has been improved with own field observations. Statistical analysis has been performed on the taxonomic richness, life forms, and chorological spectra in terms of diversity, endemism, habitats, and distribution of the tree flora in Algeria. The conservation status following IUCN and the protection status at national level have been presented.Key results – The checklist comprises 120 native tree taxa currently known in Algeria, including 106 species, one hybrid species, and 13 subspecies, belonging to 63 genera and 35 families. The four most species-rich families are Rosaceae (13 spp.), Fabaceae (12 spp.), Salicaceae (9 spp.), and Tamaricaceae (9 spp.). The richest genus is Tamarix (9 spp.), followed by Quercus (7 taxa in 6 spp.). We found that trees are more often single-stemmed (45%), and are small or medium-sized. Mediterranean element is dominant (46%), followed by Saharo-arabic (17%), wide distribution element (15%), and European elements (12%). Furthermore, 11% of all tree taxa are endemics or subendemics. The highest number of taxa (71%) is found in the Tellian area, whereas the lowest number (36%) occurs in the Saharan area. Only nine taxa are considered to be threatened or near threatened, while 36 taxa are yet not assessed. This analysis highlights 33 taxa with patrimonial value, both endemics and range-restricted. Out of these taxa, only 18 are protected by national legislation. Conclusion – This work shows that a relatively rich tree flora is found in Algeria. It aims to be used as a tool for managing tree species diversity. Some of the tree taxa need appropriate measures for their in situ conservation, a challenging but worth pursuing target.
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Submitted on : Thursday, November 25, 2021 - 1:28:27 PM
Last modification on : Friday, April 1, 2022 - 3:45:27 AM

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Rachid Meddour, Ouahiba Sahar, Frédéric Médail. Checklist of the native tree flora of Algeria: diversity, distribution, and conservation. Plant Ecology and Evolution, Botanic Garden Meise and Royal Botanical Society of Belgium, 2021, 154 (3), pp.405-418. ⟨10.5091/plecevo.2021.1868⟩. ⟨hal-03448822⟩

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