Will autogenic succession be sufficient to recover from vegetation cover loss or will soil condition need to be addressed in the arid lands of Kuwait?
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© 2017, Saudi Society for Geosciences. Intervention is often required for the restoration of damaged arid ecosystems, particularly when the base environmental conditions are no longer suitable for autogenic recovery. Umm Nigga, in Kuwait, was damaged by overgrazing and destructive camping. It is unclear whether its restoration will require remediation of the soil conditions, or whether autogenic succession can occur once the area is fenced and released from this pressure. Thus, in this project, we assessed the current condition of the site by collecting soil samples and vegetation assessment within each ecosystem and determined suitable locations for the re-vegetation of native seeds and seedlings using geographical information system. Our results showed that the vegetation in the coastal portions of the ecosystem was not damaged. However, in the desert ecosystem locations, vegetation cover was very low and composed of very few species in the damaged areas but still, most soil nutrients were in supply similar to that in the control areas. We conclude that soil remediation and re-vegetation are, likely, not necessary to restore the damaged sites in any of these ecosystems. Rather, fencing alone will probably release the ecosystem. With these sites as a model, a conceptual framework is presented for arid ecosystem assessment and restoration planning.
author list (cited authors)
Abdullah, M. M., Feagin, R. A., Abdullah, M. T., & Al-Musawi, L.