TAU Herbaruim (TELA)

Flora and Vegetation of the Suez Canal

A floristic account about the flora of the Canal was published in:
Lipkin, Y. 1975. Marine algal and sea-grass flora of the Suez Canal (The significance of this flora to the understanding of the recent migration through the Canal). Israel Journal of Zoology, 21: 405-446.
Seventy-two species of marine plants, all but two of which are algal species, are listed from the Suez Canal water system. Of these, 52 have not been recorded previously from the Suez Canal. Twelve of the newly recorded species are green algae, four are diatoms, eight are brown algae, eight are blue-greens and 21 are red algae. Of the 99 plant species reported from the Suez Canal since it was opened about a century ago, 47 are known from both the eastern Mediterranean and the northern Red Sea, 24 have been reported from the northern Red Sea but not from the eastern Mediterranean, 14 have been reported from the eastern Mediterranean and not from the Red Sea, and 14 have been found in the Suez Canal but not yet in both the eastern Mediterranean and the northern Red Sea. New and previously reported stations in the Suez Canal, as well as ecological remarks and notes on the occurrence of each species in the eastern Mediterranean and the northern Red Sea are given. The nature of Suez Canal flora, the changes in floral assemblage in the Canal, the migration of plant species from the Red Sea into the Mediterranean in the light of the new records from the Suez Canal, and the role of the Canal as a barrier for the migration of algae, are discussed.

An account about the vegetation followed suit:
Lipkin, Y. 1975. Vegetation of the Bitter Lakes in the Suez Canal water systerm. Israel Journal of Zoology, 21: 447-457.
Three types of vegetation are described from the Bitter Lakes, within the Suez Canal water system: (1) The vegetation of the sandy flats (which comprise most of the Lakes' bottom) is poor in species and is dominated by Halophila stipulacea. (2) The vegetation of rocks and other hard substrates is rich and includes several plant communities, both intertidal and infralittoral. (3) A very special type of vegetation is the rock-forming community of blue-green algae, responsible for the formation of the recently and currently formed beachrocks found on the coasts of the Bitter Lakes. The nature of the vegetation of the Bitter Lakes, the constancy of plant communities in the Suez Canal, and the environmental conditions required for beachrock formation in it, are discussed. It is indicated that the vegetation of the Bitter Lakes has some characteristics in common with lagoons situated on other coasts of the Sinai Peninsula. Main plant communities which occur within the Canal system at present seem to be the same as those observed by the Cambridge Expedition to the Suez Canal in 1924, thus they seem to have stayed unchanged for at least the last five decades. It is also indicated that the type of beach-rock formation which takes place at the Bitter Lakes at present requires shelter from intensive wave action.

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last modified 9 Jun 95