Vegetation heterogeneity of black alder forests in and around El-Kala Biosphere Reserve, northeastern Algeria

  • Abdeldjabar Necer Faculty of Natural and Life Sciences, Department of Biology, University of Chadli Bendjedid Laboratory of Functional and Evolutionary Ecology, University of Chadli Bendjedid
  • Aicha Tadjine Faculty of Natural and Life Sciences, Department of Biology, University of Chadli Bendjedid Laboratory of Functional and Evolutionary Ecology, University of Chadli Bendjedid
  • Djamila Belouahem-Abed National Institute of Forestry Researches, research station El-Kala, El-Tarf
  • Messaoud Saoudi Faculty of Natural and Life Sciences, Department of Biology, University of Chadli Bendjedid Laboratory of Functional and Evolutionary Ecology, University of Chadli Bendjedid
Keywords: Alnus glutinosa, Biosphere Reserve, Floristic richness, North Africa, Northeastern Algeria


Background: Despite its ecological importance, the study of Algerian alder forests has been largely neglected, even though they represent the largest ones of their kind in North Africa. Moreover, few measures have been taken towards the protection of these ecosystems.

Questions: How many species are present in the Algerian alder forests? What is the effect of soil properties on species richness and diversity of inventoried plants?  Is its spatial patterns a result of soil variables variation?

Studied species: Polypodiopsida, Gymnospermae, and Angiospermae.

Study site and dates: El-Kala Biosphere Reserve (KBR), El-Tarf province, northeastern Algeria, from January 2016 to February 2017.

Methods: Twenty-eight localities were sampled using the relevé method. Soil samples were taken from three points at each site. The relationship between species richness and soil factors was statistically evaluated using multiple linear regression and multivariate statistical analysis.

Results: The inventory showed a total of 352 species that belong to 236 genera and 89 families. According to NMDS results, black alder forests were classified into two groups (marshy and the hilly, and the fluvial forests), in relation to plant species richness. No linear relationships between species richness and soil parameters were observed, except for OM (P =  0.013).

Conclusion: The present study allowed us to perform an inventory of plant species present in alder forests and to understand its distribution among different habitat types, as well as those factors that affect its zonation. For this ecosystem, our study revealed that vegetation diversity is related to the variation of soil variables.


Download data is not yet available.
Vegetation heterogeneity of black alder forests in and around El-Kala Biosphere Reserve, northeastern Algeria


Alvarez-Rogel J, Jiménez-Cárceles FJ, Roca MJ, Ortiz R. 2007. Changes in soils and vegetation in a Mediterranean coastal salt marsh impacted by human activities. Estuarine Coastal and Shelf Science 73: 510-526. DOI:

APG III [Angiosperm Phylogeny Group III]. 2009. An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG III. Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 161: 105–121. DOI:

Austin MP. 2002. Spatial prediction of species distribution: an interface between ecological theory and statistical modelling. Ecological Modelling 157: 101-118. DOI:

Barbero M, Bonin G, Loisel R, Quéezel P. 1989. Sclerophyllous Quercus forests of the Mediterranean area: Ecological and ethological significance. Bielefelder Ökologische Beiträge 4: 1-23.

Bates D, Maechler M, Bolker B, Walker S. 2015. Fitting linear mixed-effects models using lme4. Journal of Statistical Software 67: 1-48. DOI:

Belouahem D, Belouahem F, Benslama M, Bélair G, Muller SD. 2011. Alder forests of Numidia (N.E. Algeria): Floristic biodiversity, vulnerability and conservation. Compte Rendues Biologies 334: 61-73. DOI:

Bensettiti F, Lacoste A. 1999. Les ripisylves du Nord de l’Algérie Essai de synthèse synsystématique à l’echelle de la Méditerranée occidentale. Ecologia Mediterranea 25: 13-39. available online in: <>

Bensettiti F. 1995. Contribution à l’étude phytosociologique des ripisylves du Nord de l’Algérie. Essai de synthèse à l’échelle de la Méditerranée occidentale. PhD.Thesis Univ. de Paris–Sud Centre Orsay.

Bensimon C. 1985. Male sterility in Alnus glutinosa (L.) Gaertn. Silvae Genetica. 34: 69–72.

Bigot L, Bodot P. 1973. Contribution à l’étude biocénotique de la garrigue à Quercus coccifera – Composition biotique du peuplement des invertébrés. Vie et Milieu 23: 229-249.

Blondel J, Aronson J. 1995. Biodiversity and ecosystem function in the Mediterranean basin. In: Davis GW, Richardson DM. (eds.). Human and non-human determinants in Mediterranean type ecosystems. The function of biodiversity. Berlin: Springer–Verlag, 45-119. DOI:

Brady NC, Weil RR. 1999. The Nature and Properties of Soils. London: Prentice Hall Publishers. 1-9, 453-536, 727, 739-740.

Braun-Blanquet J. 1964. Pflanzensoziologie. 3. Aufl. Wien-New York: Springer Verlag.

Cain SA. 1950. Life-forms and phytoclimate. Botanical Review 16: 1-32.

Claessens H. 2003. The alder populations of Europe. Forestry Commission Bulletin. 126: 5-14.

Colwell R (2013) EstimateS: Statistical estimation of species richness and shared species from samples. Version 9.1.0. Available at

Dufrene M, Legendre P. 1997. Species assemblages and indicator species, the needs for a flexible asymmetrical approach. Ecological Monographs. 67: 345-366. DOI:[0345:SAAIST]2.0.CO;2

Dussart G. 1999. The ecological implications of loss of alder trees. Consolidates Progress Report of the EU Concerted Action, FAIR5–CT97–3615.

Fichaut B. 1989. Morphosédimentologie de la partie occidentale de la rade de Brest. Norois 144. 377-390

Fick, S.E. and R.J. Hijmans, 2017. Worldclim 2: New 1-km spatial resolution climate surfaces for global land areas. International Journal of Climatology.WorldClim 1.4 (current conditions) by; Hijmans et al., 2005. International Journal of Climatology 25: 1965-1978.

Fofonoff NP, Millard RC. 1983. Algorithms for Computation of Fundamental Properties of Seawater. Technical Papers in Marine Science (UNESCO) 44: 53

Géhu JM, Kâabeche RM. Gharzouli. 1994. L’aulnaie glutineuse de la région d’El Kala (la Calle), Annaba, Algérie: une remarquable irradiation biogéographique européenne en Afrique du Nord. Fitosociologia 27: 67-71.

Ghahraeman A, Naqinezhad AR, Hamzeh’ee B, Attar F, Assadi M. 2006. The flora of threatened black alder forests in the Caspian lowlands, northern Iran. Rostaniha 7: 5-30.

Gomaa NH. 2012. Composition and diversity of weed communities in Al-Jouf province, northern Saudi Arabia. Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences 19: 369-376. DOI:

Gould WA, Walker MD. 1999. Plant communities and landscape diversity along a Canadian Arctic river. Journal of Vegetation Science 10: 537-548. DOI:

Hammada S, Dakki M, Tattou MI, Ouyahya S, Fennane M. 2004. Analyse de la biodiversité floristique des zones humides du Maroc - Flore rare, menacée et halophile. Acta Botanica Malacitana 29: 43-66.

Hothorn T, Bretz F, Westfall P, Heiberger RM & Schuetzenmeister A. 2013. Simultaneous Inference in General Parametric Models. R Package Version 1.3- 1. <>.

Hsieh TC, Ma KH, Chao A. 2016. iNEXT: an R package for rarefaction interpolation and extrapolation for species diversity (Hill numbers). Methods in Ecology and Evolution. 7: 1451-1456. DOI:

Jalas J. Suominen J. 1976. Atlas Florae Europaeae; 3: Salicaceae to Balanophoraceae. Helsinki. ISBN: 951-9108-02-5.

Joleaud L. 1936. Etude géologique de la région de Bône et de la Calle. Bulletin du service de la Carte géologique d’Algérie Imp. Algiers.

Kajba D. Gracan J. 2003. EUFORGEN Technical Guidelines for genetic conservation and use for Black Alder (Alnus glutinosa). Rome: International Plant Genetic Resources Institute.

Kozak A, Kozak R A, Staudhammer CL, Watts SB. 2008. Introductory Probability & Statistics: Applications for Forestry & the Natural Sciences. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN-13: 978-1780640518

Larcher W. 1980. Physiological Plant Ecology. NewYork: Springer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-540-43516-7

Leskiw LA. 1998. Land capability classification for forest ecosystems in the oil sands region. Alberta: Cumulative environmental Management Association. Fort McMurray.

Magurran AE. 2004. Measuring biological diversity. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN: 9780632056330

Marschner H. 1986. Mineral nutrition of higher plants. London: Academic Press. ISBN 9780124735408

Medjahdi B, Tattou MI, Barkat D, Benabdelli K. 2009. La flore vasculaire des monts de Trara (Nord-Ouest algérien). Acta Botanica Malacitana 34: 57-75.

Minggagud H, Yang J. 2013. Wetland plant species diversity in sandy land of a semi-arid inland region of China. Plant Biosystems 147: 25-32. DOI:

Morgan NC. 1982. An ecological survey of standing waters in North West Africa: II. Site descriptions of Tunisia and Algeria. Biological Conservation 24: 83-113. DOI:

Oksanen J, Blanchet FG, Friendly M, Kindt R, Legendre P, McGlinn D, Minchin PR, O’Hara RB, Simpson GL, Solymos P, Stevens MHH, Szoecs E, Wagner H. 2017. vegan: community ecology package. R package version 2.4-3. Available at:

Ozenda P. 1982. Les végétaux dans la biosphère. Paris: Doin. ISBN-13: 978-2704003990

Piégay H, Pautou G, Ruffioni C. 2003. Les forêts riveraines des cours d’eau. Ecologie, fonctions et gestion. Paris: Institut pour le développement forestier.

Pinay G, Labroue L. 1986. Une station d’épuration naturelle des nitrates transportés par les nappes alluviales: l’aulnaie glutineuse. Paris: Comptes rendus de l’Académie des Sciences.

Quéezel P. 2000. Réflexions sur l’évolution de la flore et de la végétation au Maghreb méditerranéen. Paris: Ibis Press.

Quézel P, Santa S. 1962. Nouvelle Flore de l’Algérie et des régions méridionales I, II. Paris : CNRS.

Quézel P. 1978. Analysis of the flora of Mediterranean and Saharan Africa. Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 65: 479-534. DOI:

R Core Team. 2017. R: A language and environment for statistical computing. R Foundation for Statistical Computing <>

Raunkiaer CC, Fausbøll AI, Gilvert-Carter H, Tansley AG. 1934. The life forms of plants and statistical plant geography. being the collected papers of C. Raunkiaer Oxford: Claredon press.

Raven P. 1971. Relationships between Mediterranean floras. In: Davis PH, Harper PC, Hedge IC. (eds.). Plant life in south-west Asia. Edinburgh: Botanical Society of Edinburgh.

Roberts DW. 2016. labdsv: ordination and multivariate analysis for ecology. R package version 1.8-0. Available in :

Schnitzler-Lenoble, A, Carbiener R. 1993. Les forêts galeries d’Europe. La Recherche 255: 694-700.

Shaw K, Roy S, Wilson B. 2014. Alnus glutinosa, common Alder In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2014: e.T63517A3125479. DOI:

The Plant List. 2013. The Plant List. A working list of all plant species. Version 1.1. <> (Accessed: July 2016).

Thomas JP. 1975. Ecologie et dynamisme de la végétation des dunes littorales et des terrasses sableuses quaternaires de Jijel à El Kala (Est algérien). BSc. Thesis. Montpellier.Université des Sciences et Techniques de Montpellier.

Tilman D, Wedin D, Knops J. 1996. Productivity and sustainability influenced by biodiversity in grassland ecosystems. Nature. 379: 718-720. DOI:

TNRS [Taxonomic Name Resolution Service]. 2016. Taxonomic Name Resolution Service V. 4.0. iPlant collaborative. <> (accessed August, 2014).

Vitasović-Kosić I, Britvec M. 2007. Plant Diversity of Pastures on the Family Farms in the Southern Part of Istria (Croatia). Agriculturae Conspectus Scientificus. 72: 141-147.

Whittaker RH. 1975. Communities and ecosystems. New York: MacMillan. ISBN-13: 978-0024273901

Wolf B. 2000. The fertile triangle. The interrelationship of air, water, and nutrients in maximizing soil productivity. New York: Food Products Press. ISBN-13: 978-1560228783

How to Cite
Necer, A., Tadjine, A., Belouahem-Abed, D., & Saoudi, M. (2019). Vegetation heterogeneity of black alder forests in and around El-Kala Biosphere Reserve, northeastern Algeria. Botanical Sciences, 97(1), 13-34.