Authors: KEMAL TULÜHAN YILMAZ, ERHAN AKÇA, HALİL ÇAKAN, YÜKSEL ÜNLÜKAPLAN, SELİM KAPUR
Abstract: Our study sets forth the outcomes of an interdisciplinary project conducted in order to fill the information gap on the management of a wetland ecosystem, in the case of a protected area on the south-eastern coast of Turkey. The hypothesis of the study is that the pattern of species composition reflects soil salinity level and some species can act as relevant indicators. The study aimed to discover a relationship between soil salinity and vegetation composition and establish some indicators useful for monitoring. For this aim, the temporal and spatial changes of soil salinity were monitored and the distribution of coastal habitats and associated plant communities were described. Twenty-three plant communities were described according to the species compositions of the vegetation. Soil salinity was found to be a driving factor controlling the spatial distribution of the plant taxa. The dominant species of the study area are Halocnemum strobilaceum, Arthrocnemum fruticosum,Spergularia marina, Plantago coronopus, and Atriplex portulacoides. The peak average annual salinity value, 1535 mS/m, was measured in a pure stand of H. strobilaceum. A high significant positive correlation was determined between plant species richness and life form richness. Strong evidence was detected for species richness, which declines at higher salinity habitats and there is also some evidence that species turnover is greater among the 52 sampling quadrates. Eleven distinct habitats were determined.
Keywords: Halophytes, soil salinity, Tuz Gölü lagoon, wetland, coastal zone management, monitoring
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