Age structure and static life tables of the endangered Juniperus phoenicea L. in North Sinai Mountains, Egypt: implication for conservation Age structure and static life tables of the endangered Juniperus phoenicea L. in North Sinai Mountains, Egypt: implication for conservation

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Vol17 No.9: 2170-2178

Title】Age structure and static life tables of the endangered Juniperus phoenicea L. in North Sinai Mountains, Egypt: implication for conservation

Author】Emad A. FARAHAT

Addresses】Botany and Microbiology Department, Faculty of Science, Helwan University, Cairo, Egypt

Corresponding author】Emad A. FARAHAT

Citation】Farahat EA (2020) Age structure and static life tables of the endangered Juniperus phoenicea L. in North Sinai Mountains, Egypt: implication for conservation. Journal of Mountain Science 17(9). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-020-6123-2

DOI】https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-020-6123-2

Abstract】Studying the population ecology of endangered plants provides important baseline information for its monitoring and conservation. Juniperus phoenicea L. is an endangered species in arid ecosystems in Africa and the Middle East. The static life tables, survival curveand age structure of J. phoenicea populations from two mountains in North Sinai, Egypt (Gabal (G.) El-Halal and G. El-Maghara) were investigated. In each mountain, fifteen plots were selected, and field measurements such as stand density, tree height, and crown diameter were conducted. Moreover, 44 trees were cored and cross-dated according to standard dendrochronological procedures. The results showed that the tree ages ranged from 50 to 262 years at G. El-Halal and 96 to 431 years at G. El-Maghara. Mature J. phoenicea individuals dominated the study area, with only a few individuals being younger than 100 years. Moreover, seedling recruitment was extremely limited. Since the studied J. phoenicea populations showed high mortality rates among both old and young individuals, there is an imminent need for establishing a conservation program to prevent its extinction in the future. Therefore, management and conservation efforts should be made to minimize human disturbance and protect the relic habitats of this endangered species at its southern distribution limits in Africa.

KeywordsJuniperus phoenicea; Age distribution; Life history; Mortality; Endangered plant; Sinai