Choosing the right diversity index to apply on mountainous arid environments - A case study from Mt Serbal

M. Zaghloul, R. Abdel-Wahab, A. Moustafa, H. Ali

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The main aim of this study was to evaluate the appropriateness of using different diversity indices for conservation purposes in arid environments. The study was done on Mt Serbal as a case study representing mountainous arid areas. Mt Serbal is one of the richest and most diverse areas in Egypt. It was sampled by 97 stands representing different vegetation cover, land-forms and habitats. Species density and environmental factors (including altitude, slope, soil texture, hygroscopic moisture, water holding capacity, pH, EC, and soil organic matter content) were recorded or measured in each stand. The results reveal that Mt Serbal is characterised by a high diversity of plant species and the most diverse area is Shaq Sha'rany. The study recommends Margalef and species richness as the most suitable to measure the diversity at different localities, land-forms, and vegetation groups. It emphasises on the necessity of reporting on species richness in any conservational study. Meanwhile, indices that are excessively sensitive to change in sample size, gear, or handling procedures should be avoided.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)141-165
Number of pages25
JournalActa Botanica Hungarica
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2013


  • Arid environments
  • Diversity indices
  • Flora
  • Mt Serbal
  • South Sinai

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Plant Science


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