Did you Know?
  • The Ghaf tree (Prosopis cineraria) is extremely drought resistant and its roots can go down to 30 metres, enabling it to reach the water table in the DDCR

Quantitative analysis of the hyper-arid vegetation changes under grazing in Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve


To implement a continuous practical and efficient vegetation monitoring program by applying analytical tools for effective data interpretations. As vegetation is the base of the food pyramid the expected data and information is indispensable for managing the ecology of the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve.


To evaluate the current state of the DDCR vegetation, the study is focuses on the assessment of density, cover, and biodiversity of the flora in the DDCR and follows the continued monitoring and repeated vegetation studies of 2004 (El Alqamy, 2004) and 2009 (Khafaga, 2009). To present the results through the mapping of the vegetation and by defining the lineage between different floral communities, using multivariate analysis combined with GIS techniques.


Using the plot sampling method at 302 randomly selected sites, at each site, a circular plot is adapted for sampling the vegetation with an area of 50m diameter and each plot in total is equivalent to 7850m2. (Khafaga, 2009)

Plant species in each given plot are tentatively recorded in the field and put in tabulated form, giving the authentication of their identification with the help of the floristic books.

For each species total number of individuals are counted and an average size (length x width x height) is calculated.

To achieve the goal, data interpretation will require the adoption of the following strategies:

- Floristic composition and phytosociology

  • Density and Relative Density
  • Abundance and Relative Abundance
  • Frequency and Relative Frequency
  • Cover and Relative Cover
  • Important Value Index (Species Dominance).

- Diversity Indices

  • Simpson Dominance Index
  • Shannon Diversity Index
  • Margalef Richness Index

- Spatiotemporal variation of plant communities

  • The calculation of the values of the diversity indices of individual plots over different habitats will interpolate predicted variety in un-sampled areas and will produce an overall picture of how diversity is changing over the entire DDCR.

Expected outcomes

The anticipated results will encompass three main themes. These are:

  1. assessing species diversity and variability of the DDCR flora;
  2. comparison of floral communities in different habitats, specifically comparing the populations of Gravel Plains against those of Sand Dunes;
  3. examining the vegetation diversity through various monitoring events and with altered adverse pressure and climatic factors.