Flora of Libya

الصفحة الرئيسية

Flora of Libya

Environmental Systems in Libya

Habitat and vegetation in Libya vary from the coastal plain to the northern mountains with its topographic variations, oases, valleys and desert mountains, enriching plant diversity in Libya.

These are some of the studies conducted in different parts of Libya.

Although the majority of Libya is desert, with the exception of the northern highlands and the coastline, there is a biodiversity that distinguishes each section of Libya's ecosystems,

which can be divided into four major ecosystems as reported in the fourth national report on the implementation of the Convention on (https://www.cbd.int/doc/world/ly/ly-nr-04-ar.pdf),

where in each section there are spatial variations according to the nature of the land shape and soil type climate and other factors.

1-Coastal ecosystem

This system starts from the coast of the sea and its breadth ranges between (5-25) km along the Libyan coast from Ras Ajdir on the Tunisian border in the west until it helps on the Egyptian border in the east.
The average rainfall is between (200-250 mm) annually and to varying degrees.
According to the latitude, where the rate rises in both the Jaffara plain and Misurata plain and the Benghazi plain and decreases to its minimum in the plain of Sirte and narrow plains in the plateau of Marmerica (Al-btanan),
Most of the urban activity and population density are concentrated in this area, creating stressful conditions on biodiversity. Includes sub-environment systems such as:

Coastal strip-Coastal sand dunes-Wetlands and Marshes-low plains-the valleys.

The abundance and diversity of vegetation varies according to rainfall rates in coastal ecosystem. But in general is characterized by the presence herbaceous and shrubs vegetation, With the difference in floristic composition.

According to the different habitat environment we find sand plants prevail in coastal sand dunes, and in coastal, marshes cover the land with salt plants of varying density and diversity depending on their location from the center of sabkha,

in the coastal rocky plateaus, where Al-Jabal Al-Akhdar or Jabal Nafusa approaches the sea, especially its slopes facing the sea, herbs, shrubs and trees are spread out sequentially according to their altitudes.

In Jefara, Misurata, Sirte and Benghazi plains the sub environmental types Generally consist of: (hills; Sand dunes, marshes or Sebkha areas; plains; valleys or Wadis (bottom plains and depressions).

landscape units:

I. Dune areas (Sand beaches-Littoral dunes-Inland dunes Mobile sand fields)

II. Hummocks and ridges (Crusty hummocks and ridges-Alluvium and eolian hummocks-Sand hummocks with poor vegetation)

III. Sebkha areas (Salt marshes and damp swamps-Humid meadows)

IV. Sebkha plains with hummocks (Sebkha plains with hummocks not covered by vegetation-Sebkha plains with hummocks covered by vegetation)

V. Flat sand plains (Flat sand plains of low level-Flat sand plains of higher levels)

VI. Rolling sand plains (Rolling sand plains of low levels- Rolling sand plains of higher levels)

VII. Lowlands and Wadi forms (Lowlands with clear-cut limits- Lowlands with unclear limits)

In Jefara, Misurata, Sirte and Benghazi plains, the Natural vegetation it belongs to the Mediterranean and semi-Mediterranean type. Steppe and semi-desert vegetation can be found too.

According to the climatic conditions and type of soil, as well as human management, the following types of vegetation may be distinguished in the area:

1-Limited growth of separated communities of forests and brushwood.

2-Small communities of shrubs and scrubs.

3-Communities of semi-shrubs and meadows.

4-Dwarf semi-shrubs.


6-Patches of grass and dwarf semi-shrubs of halophilous type.

7-Growth of some weeds alongside cultivated vegetation.

Kajalik, Y. S. (2014) An Analysis of Land use within the limits of landscape units. a case study of the north-western part of the Gefara Plain in Libya. Landacape ecology.Vol6.


As a result of the various human activities (especially urban and industrial) that completely changed most of the Libyan coast, the prevalence of vegetation in the areas that remained on the nature of which are few, It is dominated by sea grasses,

where many plant species grow, seasonal, annual, biannual and shrub,Their density and numbers decrease as we move inward because interfere with plants of continental steppes,

It is difficult to put an end between the two regions because of with the gradual transition between the two vegetarian climatic regions.

The vegetation of the Tripolitania steppe is poor and sparse with little variety of species, species which grow are more drought-resistant.

Being xerophytes, they generally have a highly developed root system and their foliage is reduced to a minimum; their leaves are generally fusiform, dry and shiny, the epidermis thickened and cutinized.

Many species are spherical in shape. Most of the bushes are spiny.

Woody Species

The most common woody species of Tripolitania is Ziziphus lotus (L.)Lam.. This type of vegetation, with dispersed clumps of trees, covers large areas.

In less abundance are Pistacia lentiscus L., found at the foot of the Jebel, and Searsia tripartita (Ucria) Moffett. -Syn. Rhus tripartita (Ucria) Grande, other natural woody flora, include Nicotiana glauca Graham., Ricinus communis L.,

Calotropis procera (Aiton) Dryand.,and several species of Tamarix aphylla (L.) H.Karst., Tamarix canariensis Willd.

In the southern of Al-Qirbooli, as well as coastal areas near Al-Khoms, there are plants Lycium europaeum L., Ziziphus lotus (L.)Lam., Tamarix aphylla (L.)Karst., Calicotome villosa (Poir.) Link,

Searsia tripartita (Ucria) Moffett-syn. Rhus tripartita (Ucria) Grande).

Community of Searsia tripartita (Ucria) Moffett-syn. Rhus tripartita (Ucria) Grande) and Pistacia lentiscus L., Calicotome villosa (Poir.) Link in the form of scrub, which is so common in Cyrenaica on the coastal plain between Tocra and Tolmeita, and the coastline opposite Al-Jabal Al Akhdar.

Plants of the Steppe

The steppes themselves vary greatly in appearance and features. During the rainy season, in areas of stable sands, a fine grass cover, rich in legumes and including many perennials, blankets the soil.

The types of perennials which grow on the steppes serve to classify the land structure and vegetation community, as follows:

1-    Asphodelus microcarpus Salzm. & Viv, and less frequently (Drimia maritime (L.) Stearn-syn. Urginea maritime (L.) Baker, are types of vegetation found in moist deep flat sand.

Occasionally constitutes the only steppe vegetation, and sometimes the two plants form a community.

2- Artemisia campestris L. prefers undulating sandy soils, and requires the same conditions as Asphodelus microcarpus Salzm. & Viv., and grows with it.

3-Imperata cylindrica (L.) Raeusch. grows on the poorest soils still deep and moist, but sometimes slightly salty. Another plant, Ammophila arenaria (L.) Link- syn. Psamma arenaria (L.) Roem. & Schult., grows along the littoral in the seashore sands.

4-The presence of Retama raetam (Forssk.) Webb, indicates deep rather dry soil with undulating surfaces. It frequently constitutes a community with Stipagrostis pungens (Desf.) De Winter-syn. Aristida pungens Desf.

and Ricinus communis L.,

Overcutting of Retama raetam (Forssk.) Webb for fuel has frequently led to soil deterioration and the formation of shifting sand dunes.

Stipagrostis pungens (Desf.) De Winter-syn. Aristida pungens Desf.which grows in conjunction with Retama raetam (Forssk.) Webb in shifting sands, has long, creeping roots which spread out over the sand and try to penetrate it.

These two plants are invaluable along in sand-dune fixation work for afforestation purposes. Stipagrostis pungens (Desf.) De Winter-syn. Aristida pungens Desf.

It is characteristic of a dune which has not yet become fixed. and Sometimes found alone constitute vegetation.

5-Calycotome intermedia Boiss. ex Reichenbach f., is a small spiny Shrub, which prefers deep stony soil. These hard-pan or crust soils of the arid Mediterranean climate are found widely,

particularly in the Jefara plain, where they are often overlain by sand deposits of more recent origin.

6-Deverra tortuosa (Desf.) DC. and Thymelaea microphylla Meisn., spread where the soil is somewhat thicker and the sand less.

Large areas in the Dafnia plain toward the east between Al-Khoms and Misurata are covered with this type of vegetation.

And on the more superficial terrains the characteristic plant of the steppe is Gymnocarpos decandrus Forssk.- syn. Gymnocarpos fruticosus (Vahl) Pers. or Rhanterium suaveolens Desf.

7-Mountain-types of vegetation and, more frequently the pre-desert types, which are more common to the southern plateau also occur in parts of the plain especially in the western Jefara and in the area south of Taourgha.

Such as Artemisia herba-alba Asso is an outstanding example in this category.


In semi-arid rangeland in northwestern Libya near Assa, Where average annual precipitation is 138 mm, composition of vegetation were from the most common shrubs: Helianthemum lippii (L.) Dum.Cours., Thymelaea microphylla Meisn.,

and Echiochilon fruticosum Desf. and the most common grasses were Lygeum spartum Loefl. ex L. and Koeleria pubescens (Lam.) P.Beauv.

The communities representing most of the major vegetation and edaphic variations were recognized on the basis of changes in the floristic composition, relative dominance of leading species and changes in the edaphic features.

These were identified as follows: the Artemisia campestris community, the Thymelaea-Helianthemum-Echiochilon community, the Lygeum-Artemisia community, the Suaeda-Halocnemum community,

the sand-dune areas of broken relief community and the blowout pavement wind eroded community.

Each community was found to be associated with distinct groups of major species showing presence.

Shawesh, O. M.(1979) Vegetation analysis and ecology of rangelands in northwest Libya, Africa. Master Thesis. University of Wyoming.


Shawesh, O. M.( 1981) Vegetation Types of Semi-arid Rangelands in northwestern Libya, north Africa Thesis of Ph.D. University of Wyoming.


The distribution and growth of natural vegetation in Benghazi Plain

governed by several factors, the distribution and frequency of rainfall, the quality of soil, as well as the physiography of the area, other climatic elements, and human interference.

Owing to its general geographical position, the Benghazi Plain has two major vegetation types. Mediterranean vegetation (Maquis) and Irano-Turanian vegetation (Steppes),which may he tentatively subdivided as follows:

1-Mediterranean wood and brush forest (Maquis).

2-Wood Forest.

3-Brush Forest.

4-Irano-Turanian vegetation (Steppes).

5-Mediterranean coastal steppes.

6-Semi-desert steppes.

7-Littoral vegetation.

8-Coastal Sebakh, ponds and sand dune vegetation.

Mediterranean Wood and Brush Vegetation (Maquis), The Wood Forest:

This type of vegetation is confined mainly to wetter (350-370 mm.) northern parts of the Benghazi Plain, where terra rossa intermingles with some boulders. The real Mediterranean forest (Maquis or Macchia) starts

about 5 km. east of Tolmeita, and covers mainly the wadi beds, most of the foot hill area together with the deep gorges and the sea-side of the first escarpment. However, the forest till grows thicker on the higher mountain

The Mediterranean wood forest plant species are found mainly in the foot hill area and on the mountain slopes, With a wide spread of annuals plants in the spring. The Juniperus phoenicea L.

is the most abundant element of the Maquis forest and spread in the area. It is generally found interspersed with other species mainly Pistacia lentiscus L., Arbutus unedoL., and Rhus oxyacantha Aubrev.

In the more humid sector, mainly i n the wadi beds (e.g. Wadis Zayana, A'asar and Belgasim), some truly characteristic Mediterranean forest species (which usually grow on the higher mountains) are found interspersed with other undergrowth species.

These Mediterranean forest trees are Carob beans Ceratonia siliqua L., wild olive, Olea europaeaL. and kermes oak, Quercus coccifera L.,

The undergrowth of the wood forest area is made up of alarge variety of species, of which Phillyrea latifolia L., Myrtus communis L., Phlomis floccose D.Don, and Calicotome spinosa (L.) Link, are the most vigorous shrubs.

The grass cover is abundant and embraces numerous species of which the dominant ones are Calendula ssp., Asphodelus microcarpus Salzm. & Viv., Drimia maritima (L.) Stearn, Adonis microcarpa DC.

and Stipagrostis pungens (Desf.) De Winter-syn. Aristida pungens Desf.

Some Salsola ssp. grasses are found here near the coast, and the most dominant species is Salicornia spp.,

Since the coastal cliff, in this area, is about 5 meters above sea level the presence of these grasses is due solely to the spray of the high waves and the salty winds blowing from the sea.

It is worth mentioning here, that this forest area has suffered heavily from fire which was caused by the negligent and irresponsible attitude of the shepherds.

The damage has occurred mainly between Wadi Belgasim and the sea-shore.

The Brush Forest:

The brush land area of the Benghazi Plain covers an area extending 90 km. from Wadi El Fej in the south to beyond Tolmeita in the north, and varying in width from 13 km. in the south to 1/2 km. in the north.

This forest is considered to have the richest. Vegetation in the whole of the Libyan northern plains. The brush forest region is almost entirely wooded, the spacing between individual trees or bushes being very variable,

for these species respond to physiographic influences, such as soil moisture, soil depth, and the flatness or rolling surface, consequently,

the density and variety of the forest increase toward the escarpment in the middle part and in the northern part of the plain and because of the wetter conditions.

This type of brush forest is generally considered as a transitional zone between the dwarf-shrub societies and the Mediterranean species, which are not always easy to separate.

Hence the further south one goes the sparser the forest becomes yielding at first to coastal steppe and then to Semi-desert steppe.

This shrubby area is favored by 250-350 mm. rain fall annually which almost entirely occurs within the sub-humid region.

The greater part of this area consists of heavy reddish-brown calcareous soils (terra rossa) particularly in the depressions and near the escarpment, the only exceptions being a few lithosols together with rock outcrops,

sand dunes and the sebakh areas near the sea-shore. The brush trees vary in height and species, and are generally speaking shorter in the south being between 30-50 cms.

Whereas in the north they are between 50-300 cm. The dominant tree species i n the area between Tokra and Tolmeita are Rhus oxyacantha Aubrev and Pistacia lentiscus L.

The Rhus oxyacantha Aubrev is almost entirely confined to the foot hills. Minor species which are scantily spread are Tamarix aphylla (L.) H.Karst, and Carob (these two species are mainly found on wadi beds, e.g. Wadi Jebela,

Wadi Aaser and Wadi Tberglaya), wild olive, Ficus variegate Blume-Ficus garciae Elmerand, Calicotome spinosa (L.) Link. with undergrowth of several species of which the Phlomis floccose D.Don is the most dominant.

The grass cover in this area is very luxuriant and the dominant species are Drimia maritima (L.) Stearn, and Adonis microcarpa DC.

The southern part of the brush forest is relatively sparse, particularly near the coast and i n the south. The predominant tree species here are Rhus oxyacantha Aubrev.

Which represents about 70 % of the forest and Pistacia lentiscus L.about 20 %. Some of Periploca, Lycium europaeum L. shrubs are found.

Carob is very rare in this area and its presence is mainly confined to wadi beds, e.g. Wadi Zaza,

and small clumps of Carob trees are found on both sides of the highway in Bersis area. The Carob tree seems to have been widespread in the Benghazi Plain in the past,

but at present, the southern boundary of naturally growing Carob is found north of the highway about 2 km. west Sidi Sweiker and just north of Sidi Mansour dolina,

10 km. north of Benina, consists of a large variety of species such as Phlomis floccose D.Don and Sarcopoterium spinosum (L.) Spach -syn. Poterium spinosum L. ,

The latter is a small thorny shrub, which grows on thin soils in rocky terin and is usually the sign of age-old degradation of land. There are also Retama raetam (Forssk.) Webb, Rhamnus lycioides L. and Thymbra capitata (L.) Cav,

The grass cover here is very luxuriant, particularly during the spring season. The northern part of this area is still richer in grass cover, mainly because the soil mantle is thicker, especially in the depressions and alluvial wadi beds,

and the rain fall is more abundant. The most conspicuous grass species are Drimia maritima (L.) Stearn, Adonis microcarpa DC.and Calendula sp.

Irano-Turanian Vegetation (Steppes):

This Mediterranean steppe region embraces a vast area, extending from the southern boundary of the brush forest in the north to the southern boundary of the Benghazi Plain (semi desert).

This region occupies an area of about 400.000 hectares and has a length of about 128 km, and its width varies from 13 km in the north to about 54 km in the deep south. It receives a mean rain fall ranging from about 100 to 300 mm/per annum.

Mediterranean Coastal Steppes:

This region coincides with the mainly Karst topography between Wadi El-Gattara in the south and the brush forest in the north, with a mean rain fall ranging between 200 and 300 mm.

The soil cover here is mainly red to reddish-brown terra rossa transported "by wadi streams and wind actions and deposited on the depressions and dolinas or sink-holes;

and some areas of true terra rossa as well. Most of this area is "bare rock outcrop, especially between Sidi Khalifa and the Benghazi-Benina highway.

This ground surface affords little possibility for plant growth except for certain lithophytes including Lichens.

Consequently the true growth is mainly confined to areas near the foot hills and does not extend more than 3 km. from the escarpment, the slope side of the mountain and along the stream of Wadi El Gattara,

with a few isolated specimens. The sink-holes are almost completely occupied by fruit trees such as figs, olives, vines, palm trees and almonds.

The dominant tree species is Ziziphus lotus (L.)Lam., which is mainly found near the escarpment, wadi streams,

west of the Lete and near Wadi Musa south-east of El Fweihat, Less abundant species are Pistacia lentiscus L. and Ficus variegate Blume-Ficus garciaeElmer.

Some shrubs, mainly Retama raetam (Forssk.) Webb and Thymelaea hirsute (L.) Endl. are also found in scattered localities.

The grass cover here is luxuriant, particularly in the areas of deep soil cover. The dominant and conspicuous species are Lolium rigidum Gaudin and Cynara cornigera Lindl.

Less frequent species are Phalaris minor Retz., Adonis microcarpa DC. and Medicago polymorpha L, Rare species are Aegilops ventricosaTausch , Stipa ssp. and Dactylis glomerata L.

Littoral vegetation:

This is found on a coastal strip, which consists mainly of a discontinuous chain of dunes, running from Shat El Bedin ( at the southern boundary of Benghazi Plain ) in the south to Ras Tolmeita in the north,

a as tall as about 220 km long and display from 100 meters to 2 km , and covering a total area of about 23.100 ha. This strip receives a mean annual r a in fall of 100-360 mm,

with a predominantly seaboard climate. Since this area is almost dominated by dunes the soil mantle is very thin in most of the area.

In the southern strip the soil is more or less whitish sandy loam inter mingled with some gravels, whereas, in the middle sector, "between Gamines and Tika,

it is mostly bare rock, with small patches, covered with thin greyish silty loam soil. In the rest of the strip the soil mantle varies between bare outcropped rocks, Consequently, the vegetation cover here is not Dense.

However, the lack of a dense forest cover, at least in the north, is due not only to the soil and climate, but also human interference since these areas are the most highly populated. Nevertheless,

there are some sparse shrubs of which the main species are Tamarix aphylla (L.) H.Karst, and Retama raetam (Forssk.) Webb,

especially around Sidi Khalifa and El Magrun, Thymelaea hirsute (L.) Endl. Which is found mainly in the area between Swani Saoud and the highway south-west of Tika as well as to the north-west of El Magrun,

Finally the Haloxylon salicornicum (Moq.) Bunge ex Boiss., is found mainly to the North-west of Gamines.

The grass cover of the Littoral zone consists mainly of Lolium rigidum Gaudin in the northern sector (north of Benghazi) and Lygeum spartum Loefl. ex L.

in the southern sector, especially in Shat El Bedin areas., Stipagrostis pungens (Desf.) De Winter, in Sidi Khalifa,

It extends for about 750 meters south of the highway. Between Ganfuda and Tika the dominant grasses are Stipa capensis Thunb,

the latter occupying a vast area between Swani Saoud and Tika. And The Asphodelus microcarpus Salzm. & Viv.is found in many parts of the Benghazi Plain.

Vegetation of Coastal Sebakh, Ponds and Sand Dunes:

1-    Sebakh vegetation:

True sebakh are almost devoid of vegetation and are periodically flooded. However, such vegetation as grows in or around the sebakh is of Halophyte (Salsola) type.

Hence, limited vegetation species such as Limoniastrum guyonianum Durieu ex Boiss., occupy almost all the vegetative sebakh areas,

especially north of Deriana, west of Sidi Khalifa, east of El Thama, south of Ganfuda, and north-west of Gamines. Salicornia sp., Suaeda vermiculata Forssk. ex J.F.Gmel, Salsola sp.

and Mesembryanthemum sp. are also found in small numbers. The only shrubs growing in this area Tamarix in appearance Dwarf.

2-    Pond Vegetation

The vegetation of the ponds in the Karst topographic areas around Benghazi and El Kweifya, such as Budzira, El Mgarin and Ain Zaiyana, is of Hydrophile type.

The most common species are canes, reeds, sedges, and myrtle, particularly in Ain Zaiyana. In the swampy area (El Mkamen) in the north-west of Slug, the dominant plants are myrtle and Lolium rigidum Gaudin.,

Some Phalaris brachystachys Link and Bromus sp. are also found. The rare plants are Avena barbata Pott ex Link, Aegilops ventricosa Tausch. Rostraria cristata (L.) Tzvelev.

3-Sand Dune vegetation:

The strip of immense littoral dunes, mostly in two parallel lines with low depressions ( usually sebakh) in between, is reasonably humid, receiving a mean rain fall of 150-250 mm.

Fog plays an important role in the plant growth in this strip , the sea moderates the temperatures and the sea winds also carry moisture. The natural vegetation is represented by scanty patches of Ammophila sp.

Within the patches the plant cover may reach 60-80 %, but within the total dune area there is no more than 5-10 %.

Fresh supplies of sand are continuously imported by the violent predominantly winds (Northern, Northeastern and Northwestern), the surface layers of sand are too mobile to allow plant growth.

The mobile sand dunes are also a threat to a number of agricultural localities, especially in the Sidi Khalifa, El Monastir-El Thama, Ganfuda, Karkura and Shat El Bedin areas.

Nonetheless wherever there is sub soil humidity, shrubs grow such as Retama raetam (Forssk.) Webb,

especially in the Sidi Khalifa and Karlcura areas, Haloxylon articulatum (Moq.) Bunge which is found in abundance in the Bussufen area and Lycium europaeum L. particularly in Karkura.

The dominant species of grass cover i n the sand dune area are. Salicornia sp., Polygonum maritimum L., Dactylis glomerata L., Lygeum spartum Loefl. ex L. and Ononis sp.

Hajjaji, Salem A. (1969) The land use patterns and rural settlement in the Benghazi plain, Durham theses, Durham University. Available at Durham E-Theses Online: http://etheses.dur.ac.uk/9644/


Between Benghazi and Derna, three main coastal environments are represented: the sandy beaches, salt-marshes (locally called sebchet) and the rocky coasts.

These habitats, as elsewhere in the Mediterranean, are characterized also here by a very spedalized flora and vegetation and are interesting in regard to phytogeographical and phytosociological aspects.

Sandy beaches:

On the sandy coasts the classical succession generally occurs. One starts from the initial pioneer plant community which is the nearest to the sea up to the more evolved vegetation of the dunes and the retro dune.

In these habitats, we find a certain number of psammophytes with a large Mediterranean or Mediterrano-Atlantic distribution.

Some of these species are less frequent or rare, among which: Pancratium maritimum L. , Otanthus maritimus (L.) Hoffm. & Link, Euphorbia paralias L., Medicago marina L., Cyperus kallii (Forsk.) Murbeck.

Others are more frequent: Agropyron junceum (L.) Beauv., Ammophila littoralis (Beauv.) Rothm., Lotus creticus L., Cutandia maritimam (L.) Richter, C. dichotoma (Forsk.) Trabut,

Pseudorlaya pumila (L.) Grande, Sporobolus arenarius (Gouan) Duv.-Jouve

The presence of species with South-East Mediterranean distribution (which extend from South Tunisia up to Egypt, sometimes up to South Palestine and Crete) is remarkable.

Among these: Aegialophila pumila (L.) Boiss., Silene succulenta Forsk., Lotus polyphyllus Clarke, Hyoseris lucida L., Ononis vaginalis Vahl.

Some intesting species are the Saharo-Arabian and South Mediterranean-Saharo-Arabian, as: Centaurea dimorpha Viv., Echinops spinosissima Turra, Zygophyllum album L., Launea resedifolia (L.) O. Kuntze, Retama raetam (Forsk.) Webb.

These floristic characteristics allow us to range the psammophilous vegetation in the order Ammophiletalia and in a new alliance: Aegialophilo-Retamion,

which is probably distributed along all the sandy coasts of the South-East Mediterranean area.

The colonization of the sands nearer to the sea starts with an halonitrophilous vegetation of the class Cakiletea maritimae,

in which we find Mediterraneo-Atlantic species (Cakile maritima Scop., Euphorbia peplus L. or Circum-Boreal (Salsola kali L.) or Sub-Cosmopolitan ones (Polygonum maritimum L.).

Dominant species are Sporobolus arenarius, which covers large areas, and Zygophyllum albumA more evolved vegetation is represented by the association of Agropyron junceum and Aegialophila pumila,

which has a better capacity to hold the sand and to start the edification of the dune. On the whole, the vegetation is very similar to the Agropyron junceum associations which are common in the Mediterranean area,

but differs in some floristic particularities. Here Aegialophila pumila and Silene succulenta, dominating species, confer a special physiognomy to the vegetation.

The highest dunes are colonized by big tufts of Ammophila littoralis which grow specially on the crest of the dunes.

This species, which is the real builder of the dunes, tends to form a community which is structurally similar to those known in other Mediterranean territories; but, some differences are observed in regard to the floristic composition.

In fact, many common species in the associations of Ammophila littoralis of the N. Mediterranean countries, are absent or rare in Cyrenaica.

Whilst, some species mainly distributed in the Saharo-Arabian territory, are frequent (Echinops spinosissima, Retama raetam, Launea resedifolia),

which therefore, allow us to differentiate a local association (Ammophila littoralis & Echinops spinosissima.).

The retro dune is occupied by a special shrub association where Ononis vaginalis dominates. This vegetation has the same ecological role as the Crucianella maritima L. associations which are frequent in the Western Mediterranean.

Besides, exclusive species of the Ononis vaginalis association are Centaurea dimorpha and Daucus carota. Hispanicus ssp.

Between the perennial psammophilous communities occur, especially in the fiat surface, some ephemeral associations which are rich in therophytes.

A phytosociological study has been made by the authors and numerous associations have been described (BRULLO & FURNARI, 1978).

In these associations we remark the presence of the Mediterranean elements [Anchusa hibryda Ten., Minuartia geniculata (Poiret) Thell., Silene morisiana Pign., Asteriscus aquaticus (L.) Less.,

Senecio leucanthemifolius Poiret, Euphorbia terracina L., Erodium laciniatum (Cav.) Willd., Bromus rigidus Roth., Corynephorus divaricatus (Pourr.) Breistr., Ononis diffusa Ten., Medicago disciformis DC],

Mediterranean-Atlantic [Vulpia membranacea (L.) Dumort.],

Mediterranean-Irano-Turanian [Brassica tournefortii Gouan, Gynandriris sisyrinchium (L.) Parí.]. Besides,

the presence of South-East Mediterranean species is very important, as: Crucianella herbacea Forsk., Anacyclus monanthos (L.) Thell., Centaurea alexandrina Del., Centaurea contracta Viv., Crepis senecioides Del.,

Ifloga spicata (Forsk.) Sch.-Bip. ssp. labillardierii (Pamp.) Chrtek, Triticum bicorne Forsk., Desmazeria philistaea (Boiss.) H. Scholz ssp. rholfsiana (Cosson) H. Scholz, Vulpia brevis Boiss. & Kotschy ex Boiss.,

Androcymbium rechingeri Greuter, Hypecoum aequilobum Viv., Plantago crypsoides Boiss. Some endemic species occur: Helianthemum cyrenaicum (Gross.) Brullo & Furnari,

Anthemis taubertii Durand & Barr. ssp. arenicola (Pamp.) Brullo & Furnari, Teucrium zanonii Pamp., Plantago lagopus L. ssp. ptolemaidis Brullo & Furnari, Plantago libyca Beg. & Vacc.

These two last chorological groups are particularly significative and therefore, the aspects of vegetation are well differentiated from the corresponding associations of the W. Mediterranean territories which are ranged in

Malcolmietalia order. For this reason,

the ephemeral psammophilous vegetation of Cyrenaica has been ranged by the authors in a special alliance Crucianellion herbaceae


Along the sandy coast, some salt-marshes, sometimes very extended, are frequent.

These are submerged in winter and dry (partly or totally) in summer. Around these salt-marshes there is a developed and extended halophilous vegetation which is arranged in belts (more or less regular) according to a characteristic succession.

On the whole, this vegetation, mainly shrubby, presents a remarkable analogy with formations known in other marshy coastal areas of North Africa (e.g. Tunisia, Algery, Egypt) and in some arid territories of Europe as Spain and Sicily.

In these habitats, in fact, frequent elements are:


[Arthrocnemum glaucum (Del.) Ung.-Sternb., Halocnemum strobilaceum (Palla) Bieb., Hymenolobus procumbens (L.) Nutt., Frankenia pulverulenta L., Hordeum marinum Huds., Bupleurum semicompositumL.],


{Limoniastrum monopetalum (L.) Boiss., Limonium oleifolium Miller, Parapholis incurva (L.) C. E. Hubbard, Sphenopus divaricatus (Gouan) Reichenb., Juncus subulatus Forsk., Triglochin bulbosum L. ssp. barrelieri (Loisel.) Rouy].


[Gymnocarpos decandrum Forsk., Anabasis articulata (Forsk.) Moq., Salsola tetragona Del., Suaeda vermiculata Forsk., Chlamydophora tridentata (Del.) Ehrenb.],

South-East Mediterranean:

[Sphenopus ehrenbergii Hausskn., Chenolea arabica Boiss., Limonium pruinosum (L.) O. Kuntze ssp. pruinosum],

and Endemic [Frankenia syrtica (Maire & Weiller) Brullo & Furnari, Limonium teuchirae Brullo

Not frequent are the halophilous species with a wider distribution as the elements:

Borealo-Tropical and Circum Boreal:

[Halimione portulacoides (L.) Aellen, Suaeda maritima (L.) Dumort., Suaeda fruticosa (L.) Forsk., Salicornia europaea L. s.l., Carex extensa Good, Juncus acutus L., Juncus maritimus Lam.],


[Spergularia marina (L.) Griseb., Spergularia media (L.) C. Presl, Carex divisa Huds.], Cosmopolitan [Cressa cretica h. Polypogon monspeliensis (L.) Desf. Ruppia maritima L., Ruppia rostellata Koch],

and some Mediterranean and Mediterrano-Atlantic:

[Inula crithmoides L., Parapholis filiformis (Roth) Hubbard, Centarium spicatum (L.) Fritsch, Centarium tenuiflorum (Hoffm. & Link) Fritsch, Lotus preslii Ten., Salicornia radicans Sm., Plantago coronopus L.]

The halophilous vegetation, which is very specialised, is not rich floristically.

We can distinguish many associations well characterized from the floristic and physiognomic point of wiew. In the central part of the Sebcha, the association of Salicornia radicans and Aeluropus lagopoides occurs.

It is linked to stations submerged for a long time and it is observable only in the parts farther away from the sea.

To this vegetation, which is floristically the poorest, follows outwards the association of Halocnemum strobilaceum and Arthrocnemum glaucum which tends to form some belts which are often very wide.

It is a markedly halophilous formation which is quite similar to the other associations of Halocnemum strobilaceum describcd in the other parts of the Mediterranean.

Going further outwards, we find the association of Limoniastrum monopetalum and Suaeda vermiculata that occupies the rarely submerged stations,

and it is quite dense and high. Belts of Limoniastrum monopetalum are very frequent in the Mediterranean coasts and,

as in Cyrenaica, they are localized on the external margin of the salt-marshes.

Particular steppe vegetation, characterized by Saharo-Arabian species, occurs very often towards the inland, externally to the Limoniastrum monopetalum vegetation,

These are dwarf-shrub formations linked to soils with rocky emergences and characterized (especially near Benghazi) by Salsola tetragona and Atriplex glauca. Towards Tocra,

it is substituted by the association of Lygeum spartum and Gymnocarpos decandrum. This type of vegetation is to be ranged in the Limonietalia order of the Salicornietea.

This is clearly in relation to the remarkable aridity of the territory.

Therefore, the absence or rarity of Salicornietalia jruticosae associations is justified because this order includes the less thermophilous associations of the class Salicorniete

Rocky coasts

The shorline between Tolmetta and Derna is represented especially by calcareous rocks forming sometimes high cliffs. On this almost continuous belt,

characteristic pioneer communities of chamaephytes and nanophanerophytes occur. The prevalence of Mediterranean elements is here remarkable.

Among these species we have Reichardia picroides Roth var. maritima (Willd.) Batt., Lotus cytisoides L., Silene sedoides Poiret, Limonium oleifolium Miller, Sonchus glaucescens Jord., Senecio leucanthemifolius Poiret,

Frankenia laevis L., Daucus carota L. ssp. hispidus (Arcangeli) Heywood

To these, one also adds a certain group of South Mediterranean species [Desmazeria sicula (Jacq.) Dumort, Triadenia aegyptiaca (L.) Boiss.],


[Thymelaea hirsuta (L.) Endl.], Mediterrano- Atlantic [Plantago coronopus L., Crithmum maritimum L.]. From the floristic and physiognomic point of view, the following species are important: Cichorium spinosum L.

East Mediterranean species and some species South- East Mediterranean:

[Helichrysum conglobatum (Viv.) Steud., Crucianella rupestris Guss., Frankenia revoluta Forsk., Reaumuria vermiculata L.] and endemic [Catapodium syrticum Barr. & Murb.,

Limonium cyrenaicum (Rouy) Bru-Uo, Limonium subrotundifolium (Beg. & Vacc.) Brullo].

We remark that Crithmum maritimum, which is very common on the rocky coasts of the Mediterranean, is very rare in Cyrenaica. According to PAMPANINI (1931),

this species has been considered as uncertain for Cyrenaica. In fact, we have observed some specimens on very shady cliffs, only near Ras El-Hilal.

This area coincides with the coastal part characterized by a greater rainfall (350 mm mean per annum).

In the particular rupestrian habitats, we can evidence a characteristic succesion according to the sea distance.

In the belt which is'nearer to the shore, grows a vegetation with a more halophilous character where Limonium cyrenaicum has its optimum.

This endemic species is very common on all the shorelines and is vicaried in some spots near Derna by Limonium subrotundifolium. From the ecologial-structural point of view,

the association of Limonium cyrenaicum corresponds to the belt of Limonium sp. pl. and Crithmum maritimum which characterizes the Mediterranean rocky coasts.In the stations more distant from the sea,

follows a more evolved and floristically richer vegetation. Physiognomically, this vegetation is characterized by cushion-like species as Helichrysum conglobatum and Thymelaea hirsute and besides Cichorium spinosum and Crucianella rupestris,

which are also present in the vegetation of Limonium but with a scarce covering. Even the association of Helichrysum conglobatum corresponds to analogous formations with Helichrysum sp., Astragalus massiliensis,

Thymelaea sp.pl. which are frequent in other Mediterranean coasts.

From the phytosociological point of view, these associations are to be included in the new alliance Crucianellion rupestris,

which substitutes the Crithmo-Limonion in South-East Mediterranean territories.

Differential species of Crucianellion rupestris are in fact: Crucianella rupestris, Cichorium spinosum, Triadenia aegyptiaca and Frankenia revoluta.

BRULLO, S. & F. FURNARI (1981). Phytogeographical considerations on the coastal vegetation of Cyrenaica. Actas III Congr. ÓPTIMA. Anales Jard. Bot. Madrid 37 (2): 765-772.


2-Mountain ecosystem:

There are two low-altitude mountain ranges in the northern part of Libya: Jabal Nafusa in the northwest, and Al-Jabal Al Akhdar in the northeast:

Includes sub-environment systems such as, Mountain peaks, mountain slopes, mountain slopes, deep valleys, floodplains

The location, proximity to the Mediterranean coast, climate, Soil, terrain, the effects of human activity, affects the types and density of vegetation In these mountains.

Jabal Nafusa

In general, we find the presence of dense vegetation consisting of trees and forest evergreen maki type, in a narrow range of Jabal Nafusa, especially on the northern slopes of the eastern section at (Tarhuna, Masalata and Al-Khums),

We also note that these forests are becoming more intense in the slopes facing the rainy winds because of the amount of rainfall that helps to grow, as well as the low areas where water accumulates.

The other parts of the mountain are covered with shrubs and perennial herbs varying, as the vegetation cover on the southern slopes of these mountains less density and diversity and almost disappear tree cover,

because of the lack of rainfall compared to the northern slopes and close to the Mediterranean coast, so vegetation can be divided into (Mediterranean Sea ) And (continental scale),

Since these mountains take the appearance disparate from one part to another, it is not easy to put a boundary between the two ranges.

The presence of olive trees is an indicator of the maritime domain. Large parts of the eastern section of Jabal Nafusa to Gharyan enter the maritime domain

Large of the eastern, western and southern part of Jabal Nafusa is covered by perennial grass and small shrubs whose density varies depending on local conditions.

It is one of the areas represent transition between the Mediterranean and the desert.

Where plants of Mediterranean and the desert are mixed, and dominate one by the other according to the degrees of supply, as well as local conditions

Due to the impact of human activities destructive for many years, the removal operations in this region led to the elimination of natural vegetation Approximately, except the area of Masalata and Al-Khums,
which are infested with trees.
Ben Mahmoud, Khaled Ramadan (1995): Libyan soils. First edition - Publisher National Commission for Scientific Research-Tripoli-Libya. (in Arabic)
Sharaf, A. T. (1995): Geography of Libya. Third Edition. Publisher Alexandria Book Center- Egypt. (in Arabic)
In Msallata (Shaafien) recorded the presence of trees and shrubs, of which:
(Pistacia lentiscus L., Pistacia atlantica Desf., Searsia tripartite (Ucria) Moffett-syn. Rhus tripartite (Ucria) Grande,
Olea europaea L., Acacia tortilis (Forssk.) Hayne, Ceratonia siliqua L., Erica multiflora L., Calicotome villosa (Poir.) Link,
Lavandula multifida L., Ballota deserti (Noe) Jury, Rejdali & A.J.K.Griffiths-syn. Marrubium deserti (Noe) Coss., Marrubium vulgare L.,
Rosmarinus officinalis L., Thymbra capitata (L.) Cav. /Syn. Thymus capitatus (L.) Hoffmanns. & Link, Calligonum comosum L Her).
And small perennials such as(Ammi visnaga (L.) Lam., Ferula armarica Asch. & Taub. ex Asch. & Schweinf, Volutaria inaica DC.) Wagenitz-syn. Amberboa eucantha oss. ex Batt., Centaurea imorpha iv.,
Centaurea lomerata Vahl, Cynara cornigera Lindl., Launaea udicaulis (L.) Hook.f., Phagnalon rupestre (L.) DC.,
Scorzonera undulate Vahl, Urospermum dalechampii (L.) Scop. ex F.W.Schmidt, Alkanna tinctoria (L.) Tausch, Cistus parviflorus Lam., Astragalus fruticosus Forssk., Erodium arborescens (Desf.) Willd.,
Ajuga iva (L.) Schreb., Prasium majus L., Stipa tenacissima L., Asparagus horridus L. /Syn. Asparagus stipularis Forssk., Asphodelus aestivus Brot., Leopoldia comosa (L.) Parl., Scilla peruviana L.,
Drimia maritima (L.) Stearn, Fagonia cretica L. 
plant annuals are thriving in the spring such as (Anacyclus monanthos (L.) Thell. Anthemis secundiramea Biv., Glebionis coronaria (L.) Cass. ex Spach-syn. Chrysanthemum coronarium L.,
Ismelia carinata (Schousb.) Sch.Bip.-syn. Chrysanthemum carinatum Schousb., Glebionis segetum (L.) Fourr.-syn. Chrysanthemum segetum L., Crupina crupinastrum (Moris) Vis.,
Helichrysum stoechas (L.) Moench, Hypochoeris argentina Cabrera, Launaea angustifolia (Desf.) Kuntze, Echium sabulicola Pomel, Didesmus bipinnatus (Desf.) DC.,
Savignya parviflora (Delile) Webb, Scabiosa arenaria Forssk., Scabiosa monspeliensis Jacq., Tripodion tetraphyllum (L.) Fourr.-syn. Anthyllis tetraphylla L., Hedysarum spinosissimum L.,
Medicago polymorpha L., Trifolium tomentosum L., Vicia hybrid L., Vicia monantha Retz., Linum strictum L. -Syn. Linum strictum var. spicatum Pers,
Papaver rhoeas L. -Syn. Papavar rhoeas var. rhoeas, Plantago amplexicaulis Cav., Plantago lagopus L., Briza maxima L., Bromus madritensis L., Anagallis arvensis L. -Syn. Anagallis arvensis var. arvensis,
Kickxia acerbiana (Boiss.) Täckh. & Boulos.
Bashir S. (2007) Systematic study of Msallata National Reserve. M.Sc. Thesis. Department of Botany -Faculty of Sciences-Al-Faateh.University. Libya. (in Arabic)

Bahri, N.M.(2017) Identify, Limit and Determine the Vegetation Types of Wadi Ka'am Areas, Libya. Journal of Marine Sciences and Environmental Technologies -Volume (3 (in Arabic)


Gaser Khaiar area is characterized by the presence plants Mediterranean region, from trees and shrubs such as (Searsia tripartita (Ucria) Moffett.-Syn.Rhus tripartite (Ucria) Grande, Ceratonia silique L.,

Calycotome villosa (Poir) link, Genista microcephala Coss. & Dur., Reteam raetaum (Forssk.) Webb., Thymus capitatus (L.) Hoffm. & Link, Nicotiana glauca Graham, Ricinus communis L.,

Withania somnifera (L.) Dunal, Zizyphus lotus (L.) Lam., Tamarix aphylla (L.) H.Karst. Syn.Tamarix articulata Vahl, Thymelaea hirsute (L.) Endl., Zizyphus lotus (L.) Lam., Tamarix aphylla (L.) H.Karst.-Syn.Tamarix articulata Vahl),

With the presence of many small perennials plants, such as (Deverra tortuosa (Desf.) DC syn. Piturantyos tortuosa (Desf.) Bentham , Artemisia campestris L., Cynara cardunculus L., Launaea residifolia (L.) O. Kuntze,

Citrullus colocynthis (L.) Schrad., Allium roseum L., Marrubium vulgare L., Asphodelus aestivus Brot., Drimia maritime (L.) Stearn-Syn. Urginea maritime (L.)Baker., Imperata cylindrica (L.) P.Beauv.,

Phragmites australis (Cav.) Steud, Stipagrostis pungens (Desf.) De Winte,

And widespread spread of annuals plants, such as (Chrysanthemum segetum L., Brassica tournefortii Gouan, Raphanus raphinastrum L., Vicia tetrasperma (L.) Schreb., Erodium laciniatum (Cav.) Willd., Malva parviflora Linn var. Parviflora,

Bromus rigidus Roth., Hyoscyamus albus L., Solanum nigrum L., Cutandia memphitica (Spreng.) Richter, Emex spinosus (L.) Campd., Rumex bucephalophorus L., Urtica urens L.)

Najah, A. M. (2016) The Natural Plant (Sidi Omir-Kasr El Khiar-Ghanima) as a model. Journal of Humanities, Scientific and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Qasr Kheyar, Al-Mirqab University, Issue 2, pp. (109-145). (in Arabic)


Al-Jabal Al Akhdar

The Al Jabal Al Akhdar region contains 90% of the Libyan flora because it is the only area with reasonable amounts of rain. It is a regional hotspot of Mediterranean biodiversity.

The major plant communities of the Al Jabal Al Akhdar region are dominated by dense Mediterranean maquis scrub, with cover reaching 70-80%. The plant communities resemble those of Crete and the western Mediterranean,

rather than those of the eastern Mediterranean. (Boulos 1972).

The terrain and climate in the Al-Jabal Al-Akhdar, as well as human activity, give rise to two plant formations which are:

Maquis formation:

This starts from the coast and extends across the upper plateau as far as the steppe zone; it is dominated in parts by Pistacia lentiscus L., with Ballota andreuzziana Pamp., Ballota pseudodictamnus (L.) Benth.,

Eryngium campestre L., Eryngium maritimum L., Phlomis floccose D.Don, Thapsia garganica L., and Drimia maritima (L.) Stearn,

while elsewhere there is a mixture of species including; Arbutus unedo L. -Syn. Arbutus pavarii Pamp., Cistus parviflorus Lam., Cistus salviifolius L., Olea europaea L., Phillyrea latifolia L., Phlomis floccose D.Don, Pistacia lentiscus L.,

Quercus coccifera L., Rhamnus alaternus L., Rhamnus lycioides L., Rhamnus infectoria L., Searsia tripartita (Ucria) Moffett. -Syn. Rhus tripartita (Ucria) Grande, Sarcopoterium spinosum (L.) Spach and Ziziphus lotus (L.) Lam.

Steppe formation:

a community dominant in the coastal plain; Anabasis articulata (Forssk.) Moq., Artemisia campestris L., Artemisia herba-alba Asso, Asphodelus ramosus L., Atriplex halimus L.,

Clinopodium insulare (Candargy) Govaerts., Cyclamen rohlfsianum Asch., Echinops cyrenaicus E.A.Durand & Barratte., Echinops galalensis Schweinf., Micromeria juliana (L.) Benth. ex Rchb.,

Micromeria conferta (Coss. & Daveau) Stefani.,

Micromeria nervosa (Desf.) Benth, Micromeria graeca (L.) Benth. ex Rchb., Ononis hispida Desf., Ononis pendula Desf, Ononis viscosa L., Retama raetam (Forssk.) Webb, Retama monosperma (L.) Boiss.,

Sarcopoterium spinosum (L.) Spach, Scilla peruviana L., Scilla villosa Desf., Thymelaea hirsuta (L.) Endl., Thymbra capitata (L.) Cav., Tolpis virgata (Desf.) Bertol., Drimia maritima (L.) Stearn,

Zilla spinosa (L.) Prantl and Ziziphus lotus (L.) Lam. (Eldoumi et al. 2002)

In a study on the impact of insects on vegetative communities in the Al Jabal Al Akhdar (Abdlrahnan, 2011) stated that general distribution of plant communities as follows:

The most dominant plant is Juniperus phoenicea L., along with lentos Pistacia lentiscus L. and Viburnum tinus L., There are basically three major plant habitats: maquis, coastal areas and wadis.

The Batha community is common in the coastal plain where the soil is less than 15 cm deep,Wide areas are covered with the plant itself Sarcopoterium spinosum (L.) Spach)and its associates Phlomis floccosa D.Don,

Ballota pseudodictamnus (L.) Benth., Drimia maritima (L.) Stearn - Syn. Urginea maritima (L.) Baker, Eryngium campestre L and Thapsia garganica L.,

with other species at higher elevations, such as Cistus creticus L. / Syn-Cistus villosus L., Ononis hispida Desf., Ononis natrix L., Ononis pendula Desf., Ononis reclinata L., Ononis vaginalis M.Vahl,

Tolpis virgata (Desf.) Bertol., Echinops cyrenaicus E.A.Durand & Barratte, Scilla villosa Desf., Scilla peruviana L., Clinopodium insulare (Candargy) Govaerts - Syn. Calamintha incana (Sm.) Boiss., Micromeria nervosa (Desf.) Benth.,

Micromeria juliana (L.) Benth. ex Rchb., Micromeria graeca (L.) Benth. ex Rchb,

Micromeria guichardii (Quezel & Zaffran) Brullo & Furnari, Reaumuria vermiculata L-syn.-Reaumuria mucronata Jaub. & Spach, Thymbra capitata (L.) Cav and Cyclamen rohlfsianum Asch. (Zunni 1977).

At elevations under 300 m the maquis contains Juniperus phoenicea L. scrub/woodland with a patchwork of garigue containing rich herbaceous communities; associated plants are Cupressus sempervirens L.,

two species of Pistacia atlantica Desf., Myrtus communis L., wild olive Olea europaea L., buckthorn Rhamnus lycioides L. ,Rhamnus alaternus L., Rhamnus infectoria L.,

carob Ceratonia siliqua L., sumac Searsia tripartita (Ucria) Moffett. - Syn. Rhus tripartita (Ucria) Grande and boxthorn Lycium europaeum L

In areas above 300 meters above sea level are found: tree Searsia tripartita , heath, Erica multiflora L., Globularia alypum L, and Cistus salviifolius L.,

and in areas where the scrub is thinnner or absent there are communities dominated by Sarcopoterium spinosum (L.) Spach), with Phlomis floccosa D.Don and various kinds of thistles such as Notobasis syriaca (L.) Cass.,

Carlina lanata L., and grasses such as Briza maxima L. (Boulos 1975; ACSAD 1979).

South of Al- Jabal Al-Akhdar region, however, Juniperus phoenicea L.

Dominates the coastal plain with an open community containing Ammophila arenaria (L.) Link, colonies with Sporobolus pungens (Schreb.) Kunth, Crucianella maritima L.,

Limonium cyrenaicum (Rouy) Brullo., Limonium lobatum (L.f.) Kuntze, Limonium oleifolium Mill., Limonium pruinosum Kuntze, Limonium sibthorpianum (Guss.) Kuntze, Limonium sinuatum (L.) Mill.,

Limonium tubiflorum (Delile) Kuntze, Limonium zanonii (Pamp.) Domina and Suaeda pruinosa Lange, as well as shrubs such as Tetraena alba (L.f.) Beier & Thulin-Syn. Zygophyllum album L.,

Beach communities tend to form dense scrub, which can be high in some Southern areas; other species show for instance Ononis vaginalis M.Vahl, and isolated patches of Cichorium spinosum L.

The deep gorges of the wadis contain real forests dominated by the Quercus coccifera L., Laurus nobilis L., Arbutus unedo L. -Syn.Arbutus pavarii Pamp., Olea europaea L., Cupressus sempervirens L, Juniperus phoenicea L.,

Juniperus macrocarpa Sm, Pistacia lentiscus L.,Pistacia atlantica Desf., Pistacia terebinthus L and Periploca laevigata Aiton. Cupressus sempervirens L. and Quercus coccifera L.

and the shrubs Smilax aspera L., Viburnum tinus L. and Pistacia lentiscus L. are common amongst the rocks.

The increased humidity and shade allow the growth of Samolus valerandi L., Parietaria judaica L. and in the caves and crevices, and Plocama calabrica (L.f.) M. Backlund & Thulin

and Capparis spinosa L. among exposed rocks . (Boulos 1972; ACSAD 1979).

Where rainfall is less, the vegetation becomes more open, where Asphodelus ramosus L., Sarcopoterium spinosum (L.) Spach and Artemisia herba-alba Asso dominate (Al Hamedi 1999).

destroyed 35%of forest to convert to agricultural crops. Therefore the true area of these natural forests is about of 320,000 ha (Al-Idrissi et al. 1996) or less.

However, most types of natural forests in this region have been damaged by human actions. As a result, many local native species such as Cupressus sempervirens L., Pinus halepensis Mill., Quercus coccifera L.,

Quercus ilex L., Pistacia atlantica Desf. and Juniperus phoenicea L.) have declined (Qaisar & El Gadi 1994).

Abdlrahman Y. A. (2011) Insect Herbivores and Neighbourhood Effects in Plant Communities of Al Jabal Al Akhdar, Libya. Ph.D. Thesis, School of Biology-University of Nottingham Nottingham NG7 2RD (2011). (http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/12122)

Characteristics of the 6 vegetation groups (VG) derived after the application of TWINSPAN on the vegetation of Al-Jabal Al-Akhdar area. N: number of stands, G/P: the percentage of the

stands representing each vegetation group in relation to the total sampled stands, P: presence of species (%), C: absolute cover of species (m /100 m).

The vegetation groups are: I: Juniperus phoenicea - Sarcopoterium spinosum, II: Crucianella maritime- Suaeda vermiculata,

III: Retama raetam, IV: Pancratium maritimum- Ammophila arenaria, V: Cichorium spinosum, VI: Limoniastrum monopetalum.

The habitats of coastal plain are: SS: saline sand flats, SD: coastal sand dunes, SF: sand flats; those of coastal hill are: SW: seaward slope

and LW: leeward slope; those of the plateau are: FT: first terrace and ST: second terrace; and those of wadis are SE: south-east slope, NE: north-east slope and WB: wadi bed,

Adapted from (Al-Sodany et all.2003)







Habitat type

First dominant species





Second dominant species





Coastal plain

Coastal hill



























Juniperus phoenicea



Sarcopoterium spinosum

















Crucianella maritima



Suaeda vermiculata

















Retama raetam



Thymelaea hirsuta

















Pancratium maritimum



Ammophila arenaria

















Cichorium spinosum



Limoniastrum monopetalum

















Limoniastrum monopetalum



Tamarix africana



Al-Sodany, Y. M., Shehata, M. N. & Shaltout, K. H. (2003): Vegetation along an elevation gradient in Al-Jabal Al-Akhdar, Libya. ecologia mediterranea, tome 29, fascicule 2, 2003, p. 125-138


Hegazyi, et all. 2011, mentioned that coastal belt of the Al-Jabal Al-Akhdar varies landscape between salt marsh, sand dune and rocky ridge habitats, and they recorded the dominant species in different habitats as follows:

The characteristic species in the salt marshes communities in Birccess (Altitude:0.3 m. above sea level):

are dominated by Limoniastrum monopetalum (L.) Boiss., Arthrocnemum macrostachyum (Moric.) K.Koch, Atriplex portulacoides L., Tamarix arborea (Sieber ex Ehrenb.) Bunge

The sand dune vegetation in Birccess (Altitude: 0.3 m. above sea level):is dominated by

Ammophila arenaria (L.) Link, Scirpoides holoschoenus (L.) Soják, Lycium europaeum L., Asparagus horridus L. and Nitraria retusa (Forssk.) Asch..

The community types in the coastal rocky ridge vegetation in Susah to El Fadel Abu-Omar (Altitude: 11.2 to 349.9 m. above sea level):

are dominated by Cichorium spinosum L., Limonium cyrenaicum (Rouy) Brullo, Arum cyrenaicum Hruby, Asparagus horridus L., Frankenia hirsuta L., Teucrium polium L., Ballota pseudodictamnus (L.) Benth.,

Micromeria juliana (L.) Benth. ex Rchb., Herniaria glabra L., Reaumuria vermiculata L., Thymelaea hirsuta (L.) Endl., Sedum sediforme (Jacq.) Pau, Sarcopoterium spinosum (L.) Spach, and Crucianella maritima L..

The northern slopes in Al-Dercya (Altitude: 81.3 m. to 341.6 m. above sea level):

community type is characterized by Juniperus phoenicea L., Cistus parviflorus Lam., Phlomis floccosa D.Don, Teucrium barbeyanum Asch. & Taub. ex E.J.Durand & Barratte, Globularia alypum L.,

Pistacia lentiscus L., Rhamnus lycioides L., Calicotome spinosa (L.) Link, Ephedra alata Decne., Scrophularia canina L., Ballota pseudodictamnus (L.) Benth., and Dactylis glomerata L..

At higher elevation in Shahat area (Altitude: 351.4 m. above sea level):

the common species in the community types are Juniperus phoenicea L., Satureja thymbra L. Cistus parviflorus Lam., Phlomis floccosa D.Don, Verbascum sinuatum L, Calicotome spinosa (L.) Link, Ephedra alata Decne.,

Cistus parviflorus Lam., Sarcopoterium spinosum (L.) Spach, Arum cyrenaicum Hruby, Rhamnus lycioides L. and Pistacia lentiscus L.

Similarly, the slopes in Al Fadel Abou-Omar (Altitude(349.9m. above sea level):

are dominated by Rosmarinus officinalis L., Juniperus phoenicea L., Juniperus macrocarpa Sm., Ephedra alata Decne., Calicotome spinosa (L.) Link, Asparagus aphyllus L., Convolvulus oleifolius Desr.,

Artemisia herba-alba Asso, Cistus parviflorus Lam., Pistacia lentiscus L., and Sarcopoterium spinosum (L.) Spach.

The top of the mountain in Sidi Al-Hemery (Altitude: 855.5 m. above sea level):

is characterized by Sarcopoterium spinosum (L.) Spach, Thapsia garganica L., Tragopogon porrifolius L., Echium angustifolium Mill. and many other ruderal herbs.

while the mountain top in Slanta (Altitude: 734.8 m. above sea level):

communities are characterized by Juniperus phoenicea L., Sarcopoterium spinosum (L.) Spach, Asphodelus aestivus Brot., Onopordum cyrenaicum Maire & Weiller, and Thapsia garganica L.

Vegetation on the southern dry slopes (Qandulah Altitude:744.6m. abov the seae) and in Al-Marj-Al-Baida motorway Altitude :425.5-425.1-533.7 m. above sea level):

is characterized by Juniperus phoenicea L., Arbutus unedo L., Cynara cornigera Lindl., Phlomis floccosa D.Don, Capparis orientalis Veill., Globularia alypum L., Pistacia lentiscus L., Cupressus sempervirens L.,

Ferula marmarica Asch. & Taub. ex Asch. & Schweinf., Cistus parviflorus Lam., Cistus salviifolius L., Sarcopoterium spinosum (L.) Spach, Klasea flavescens (L.) Holub, Rhamnus lycioides L.,

Euphorbia characias L., Ephedra alata Decne., Teucrium barbeyanum Asch. & Taub. ex E.J.Durand & Barratte, Calicotome spinosa (L.) Link, Convolvulus oleifolius Desr., and Leiotulus alexandrinus Ehrenb..

The wadi vegetation (Wadi El-Akar Altitude :316.6 m.- Wadi Algharega Altitude :643.7 m- and Wadi El-Kouf Altitude :369.7 m. above sea level):

is characterized by Arbutus unedo L., Pistacia lentiscus L., Phillyrea latifolia L. Ceratonia siliqua L., Olea europaea L., Marrubium vulgare L., Cupressus sempervirens L., Juniperus phoenicea L., Phlomis floccosa D.Don,

Cistus parviflorus Lam., Cistus salviifolius L., Stachys tournefortii Poir., Micromeria nervosa (Desf.) Benth., Polygala aschersoniana Chodat, Asparagus horridus L., Onopordum cyrenaicum Maire & Weiller,

Calicotome spinosa (L.) Link, Eryngium maritimum L., Thapsia garganica L. Lonicera etrusca Santi, Anthyllis vulneraria L., Origanum cyrenaicum Beg. &Vacc., Euphorbia characias L.,

Sarcopoterium spinosum (L.) Spach and Globularia alypum L..

Some of the studied species exhibit broad ecological amplitude by occurring in several habitat types along both northern and southern sides of the mountainous landscape.

These species are recorded in more than 50% of the study sites, including: Sarcopoterium spinosum (L.) Spach, Phlomis floccosa D.Don, Echium angustifolium Mill., Juniperus phoenicea L., Cistus parviflorus Lam., and Globularia alypum L..

In contrast, other species are endemic and have restricted distributions.

Three perennial species are recorded as endemic to Al-Jabal Al-Akhdar. These species are Arbutus unedo L. syn. Arbutus pavarii Pamp., Arum cyrenaicum Hruby, Origanum cyrenaicum Beg. & Vacc..

Hegazyi, A.K., Boulos, L., Kabiel, H.F. and Sharashy, O.S. (2011) Vegetaion and species altitudinal distribution in Al-Jabal Al-Akhdar landscape, Libya. Pak. J. Bot., 43(4): 1885-1898, 2011.


EL-Barasi, et all. 2011, in their study of the South EL-Marj area they mentioned Total of 189 plant species were collected from the study area,

This coincides with the findings of Abdul Khaliq (2007) whocollected 192 species in the heights of Albakur hills at the northern coast of Al-Marj area (the old cityof Barce),

but less than the collections of Asker (1998) who collected 244 species from AL-Asraavalley, and the collections of AL-Hamedi (1999) who collected 317 species from AL-Aqar Valley,

as wellless than the collections of AL-Juhary (2002) who collected 336 species from Zaza valley at the firstterrace of EL-Jabal EL-Akhdar mountain.

The increase in the number of species in these valleys in therecent study areas is due to its northern location which gets larger amounts of rainfall; in additionthese valleys have more moderate temperatures.

Generally the valleys in EL-Jabal EL-Akhdar containgreater numbers of plant species compared to other open areas, due to the fact that the open areasstudied are most affected by human activities,

while valleys have better environmental conditions interms of soil moisture and also greater protection from wind effects, so they have more plant diversityand density.

The valleys harbor many plant species that receded from high open areas, and thiscoincides with AL-Juhary (2002) that natural vegetation is concentrated in valleys because of theavailability of appropriate factors for the growth of intensive plants.

The distribution of perennial plantspecies forms the permanent framework of the vegetation in the south EL-Marj is as follow:

Elevation 402 meter above sea level. Coordinates 32:25 N & 20:52 E.:

The region represents the beginning of the study area from the north, and is characterized by roughterrain, where the main human activity is rain-fed grain cultivation (wheat and barley).

Elevation 509 meter above sea level. Coordinates 32:22 N & 020:55 E.

This region is characterized by frequent upland valleys and a high density of vegetation.

Elevation 515 meter above sea level. Coordinates 32:18 N & 020:54 E.This site is open and it is one of the most intensive sites with Juniperus phoenicea L.

Elevation 652 meter above sea level. Coordinates 32:18 N & 20:58 E.

This region shows the effects of erosion revealing the bed rocks. It is a poor site in vegetation coverage,and Pistacia lentiscus L. has disappeared.

Elevation 514 meter above sea level. Coordinates 32:16 N & 021:04 E. Elevation 514 m.

At the edge of this region, land cover changes from maquis to semi-arid and desert plants, Juniperus phoenicea L. has began to disappear.

Elevation 287 meter above sea level. Coordinates 32:10 N & 21:11 E.In this region the dry desert vegetation (xerophytes) becomes more pronounced and widespread.

Elevations 402, 509, 514 and 652 meter above sea level, at coordinates 32:25 N & 20:52E; 32:22 N , 20:55 E; 32:18 N & 20:54 E and32:18 N & 20:58 E.,

the more sheltered area.It represented by Maquis vegetation species, such as Sarcopoterium spinosum (L.) Spach, Asphodelus ramosus L., Juniperus phoenicea L.

The homogenous aspects of vegetation and xerophilous were very fragmented and degraded, not only on account of the hard edophic conditions,

but especially because of sequential authropicpressure due to deforestation, fire and quarrying.

Species like Phlomis floccosa D.Don, Pistacia lentiscus L., Rhamnus lycioides L. and Ziziphus lotus (L.) Lam.

have heterogeneity distribution through the area but they are limited within coordinates 32:25 N &20:52 E; 32:22 N , 20:55 E and 32:18 N & 020:54E. While species like Olea europaea L.

grow only at coordinate 32:25 N & 20:52 E and elevation 402m.

Thymbra capitata (L.) Cav. is present at coordinates32:22 N , 020:55 E elevation 509, 32:18 N & 020:58E; Elevation 652 m, 32:16 N & 021:04 E Elevation514 m

and at 32:10 N & 021:11 E Elevation 287 m. Capparis spinosa L. grows only at coordinate 32:22 N,020:55 E elevation 509 m. When more dryconditions, almost desert conditions,

areprevailing at coordinates at 32:10 N & 021:11 E Elevation 287m.

The lowest zone when more dryconditions, almost desert conditions, areprevailing at coordinates at 32:10 N & 021:11 E Elevation 287m., Kharruba species are distributed like Atriplex halimus L., Haloxylon scoparium Pomel,

Lycium europaeum L., Ziziphus lotus (L.) Lam., Rhamnus lycioides L., Anabasis articulata (Forssk.) Moq., Peganum harmala L., Deverra tortuosa (Desf.) DC and Thymbra capitata (L.) Cav.

EL-Barasi, Y. M., Barrani, M. W., Abdelsalam, O. EL-Amrouni, N., Mohamad, F. (2011) Check list of flora and vegetation on south EL-Marj zone: south EL-Jabal EL-Akhadar . Libya. annals of Faculty Engineering Hunedoara-International Journal of Engineering. Tome IX (Year 2011). Fascicule 3. ISSN 1584-2673, 141-146. (http://annals.fih.upt.ro/pdf-full/2011/ANNALS-2011-3-24.pdf

3-The semi-desert ecosystem:

The transition from the Mediterranean climate to the desert climate, occurs gradually because of the nature of the terrain in northern Libya, therefore,

the areas of transition between them are so wide that it can be made an independent climate plant region, and includes this region the following:

Central and southern Jaffara plain in the western part , where its breadth helps to keep away from the influences of the Mediterranean climate, and its low level compared to Mount Nefoussa reduced rainfall rates.

Qibla region and the southern slopes of the Mount Nefoussa.

Plain of Sirte except the narrow coastline.

The southern slopes of the Al-Jabal Al Akhdar and the subsequent Al-Balat from the south, most of the Al-Betnan plateau and Diphna.

As well as the parts within the rain line (100-50 mm / year) of the Misrata , and Benghazi Plains

Rainfall ranges between (50-150 mm annually), all of which are considered pasture lands, Includes sub-environment systems such as: plains-valleys-wetlands and marshes-plateaus.

Accordingly, these amounts of rain are sufficient only for weeds of the type of continental (desert) poor (mostly desert),

most of them are annual plants found in large groups but scattered with the presence of some shrubs, especially dwarf them in many locations.

These areas, except those used for permanent agriculture, are considered the most important pastoral areas in Libya. and flora is constantly overgrazing,

affecting the spread of many plant species and the disappearance of many of them.

The quality and density of vegetation varies depending on the distance or proximity to the sea and the different distribution of rainfall rates, topography and soil quality.

Sharaf, A. T. (1995): Geography of Libya. Third Edition. Publisher Alexandria Book Center- Egypt. (in Arabic)
Ben Mahmoud, Khaled Ramadan (1995): Libyan soils. First edition - Publisher National Commission for Scientific Research-Tripoli-Libya. (in Arabic)

In a study of pastoral areas in Libya, the main dominant plant communities were identified. As follows:

Western Region

The western region is bordered to the north by the sea, to the south by a 50 mm rain line per year, and to the east by the Nafusa Mountains (ie the line of the Al-Khoms Bani Walid), to the west is the Tunisian border.

Longitude (10 d. -14 d. E) and latitude (31 d. -33 d. N). Among the most important plant communities that prevail in this region, the following is an example of the area Al-Asah:

Artemisia campestris L. community:

This community predominates in areas with sandy soils and the most important accompanying plants are:

(Ononis natrix L., Stipagrostis pungens (Desf.) De Winter, Salsola vermiculata L., Cutandia divaricate (Desf.) Benth., Plantago albicans L.).

Thymelaea -Helianthemum-Echiochilon. community:

This community is found in areas with unripe sandy soils, and the most important plants are:

(Thymelaea hirsuta (L.) Endl., Helianthemum lippii (L.) Dum.Cours., Echiochilon fruticosum Desf., Stipa lagascae Roem. & Schult., Rhanterium suaveolens Desf., Ononis natrix L.,

Lotus halophilus Boiss. & Spruner, Plantago albicans L., Astragalus corrugatus Bertol., Launaea resedifolia Druce.).

Lygeum-Artemisia community:

This community is found in areas with sandy soils with high salt content,

and the most important plants (Lygeum spartum Loefl. ex L., Artemisia campestris L., Salsola vermiculata L., Suaeda vermiculata Forssk. ex J.F.Gmel., Polygonum equisetiforme Sm., Frankenia pulverulenta L.,

Cutandia divaricate (Desf.) Benth.).

Suaeda-Halocnemum community:

It is found in different areas, where the soil is highly saline, the most important plants are:

(Suaeda vermiculata Forssk. ex J.F.Gmel., Halocnemum strobilaceum (Pall.) M.Bieb., Thymelaea hirsuta (L.) Endl., Artemisia campestris L., Cutandia divaricate (Desf.) Benth., Frankenia pulverulenta L.,

Hippocrepis areolata Desv., Plantago albicans L., Erodium glaucophyllum (L.) L Her., Neurada procumbens L.).

Retama- Artemisia community:

It is located in the area of the Jaffara plain where sandy soil and sand dunes, and the most important plants are:

(Genista sp., Ononis natrix L., Stipagrostis pungens (Desf.) De Winter, Cutandia divaricate (Desf.) Benth., Schismus barbatus (L.) Thell.).

Ziziphus- Cynodon community:

It is found in valleys and lowlands where the soil is deep and fertile, and the most important plants are:

(Ziziphus lotus (L.) Lam., Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers., Polygonum equisetiforme Sm., Rhanterium suaveolens Desf., Cutandia divaricate (Desf.) Benth., Vicia monantha Retz., Artemisia campestris L., Medicago sp.).

Rhanterium suaveolens Desf. community:

It is found in lands that have not been exploited for tillage for a long time, replacing the community of Artemisia campestris L.,

The most important plants are (Helianthemum lippii (L.) Dum.Cours., Echiochilon fruticosum Desf., Stipa lagascae Roem. & Schult., Artemisia campestris L., Salsola vermiculata L.).

Gymnocarpos-Anthyllis community:

It is found in alluvial soils and in some stone soils. The most important plants are:

(Gymnocarpos decander Forssk., Anthyllis vulneraria L. ,Tripodion tetraphyllum (L.) Fourr. Helianthemum lippii (L.) Dum.Cours., Anabasis articulata (Forssk.) Moq., Plantago albicans L.,

Stipa tenacissima L., Salsola vermiculata L., Atractylis serratuloides (Cass.) DC.).

Haloxylon scoparium Pomel community:

It is found in areas that have been exposed to overgrazing or marginal cultivation, causing soil erosion.

The most important disparities are(Haloxylon scoparium Pomel, Artemisia herba-alba Asso, Deverra tortuosa (Desf.) DC, Pallenis hierochuntica (Michon) Greuter).

Artemisia herba-alba Asso community:

Reigns in deep soils on the banks of the valleys, and due to overgrazing and marginal agriculture the spreading areas of community are shrinking. the most important plants

(Artemisia herba-alba Asso, Stipa tenacissima L., Haloxylon scoparium Pomel, Hippocrepis areolata Desv., Trigonella anguina Delile).

Pistacia- Ziziphus community:

In the valleys where the sedimentary soil is deep and fertile, the most important plants

(Pistacia atlantica Desf., Ziziphus lotus (L.) Lam., Searsia tripartita (Ucria) Moffett., Polygonum equisetiforme Sm., Peganum harmala L., Lycium schweinfurthii Dammer, Lycium shawii Roem. & Schult.).

Central Region

The central region is bounded to the west by the end of the Nafusa Mountains, to the north by the sea, and to the south by (Line 50 mm rain per year),

and It is bordered to the east by Ajdabiya, between two longitudes (14 d. -20 d.E) and latitudes (30 d. -33 d. N).

Climatic conditions and variations in soil types in this region and the extent of exploitation have led to the emergence of different plant communities with specialized qualities.

From Tawergha to Sirte, halophytes occupy dominion in these areas, especially along the coastline. Such as(Atriplex halimus L., Suaeda sp., Salsola sp.).

From Sirte to Noufiliya, where sandy soils, dominionant plants are (Artemisia campestris L., Retama raetam (Forssk.) Webb). in areas that have been poorly exploited by overgrazing and tillage,

plant has emerged Deverra tortuosa (Desf.) DC., Thymelaea hirsuta (L.) Endl., while in areas with alluvial soils a community appears Rhanterium suaveolens Desf.,

in the valleys and other water-gathering areas, we find the Acacia sp., in the Ajdabiya region where vegetation is degraded. the plants of Thymelaea hirsuta (L.) Endl., Deverra tortuosa (Desf.) DC. is occupied large areas.

Other plant communities in the Central Region are:

Gymnocarpos- Haloxylon community:

In areas with limestone soils with a depth not exceeding 15-20 cm.

the most important plants are (Gymnocarpos decander Forssk., Haloxylon scoparium Pomel, Deverra tortuosa (Desf.) DC., Farsetia aegyptia Turra, Anabasis articulata (Forssk.) Moq., Atractylis cancellata L.).

Atriplex- Salsola community:

It is found in saline soils with deep stones, where the depth of the soil ranges from 30-50 cm,

the most important plants are(Atriplex dimorphostegia Kar. & Kir., Atriplex glauca L., Atriplex halimus L., Atriplex lindleyi Moq., Atriplex mollis Desf., Atriplex nummularia Lindl., Salsola kali L.,

Salsola tetrandra Forssk., Salsola longifolia Forssk., Salsola schweinfurthii Solms, Salsola vermiculata L., Suaeda maritima (L.) Dumort., Suaeda palaestina Eig & Zohary, Suaeda pruinosa Lange,

Suaeda vermiculata Forssk. ex J.F.Gmel., Traganum nudatum Delile).

Thymelaea hirsuta (L.) Endl. community:

This community occupies large areas in the Ajdabiya region where sandy loam and light sandy soil,

The most important plants are(Haloxylon scoparium Pomel, Haloxylon schmittianum Pomel, Artemisia inculta Delile, Salsola sp., Adonis microcarpa DC., Asphodelus ramosus L., Cutandia dichotoma (Forssk.) Trab.).

Anabasis articulata (Forssk.) Moq. community:

This plant community is found on clay and loam soil.

The most important plants are (Gymnocarpos decander Forssk., Periploca laevigata Aiton, Salsola tetrandra Forssk., Salsola tetragona Delile, Suaeda pruinosa Lange, Traganum nudatum Delile, Roemeria sp.).

Limoniastrum monopetalum (L.) Boiss. community:

This community is found on saline sandy soils, and in the lowlands adjacent to the coast, in light sandy and sandy loam soils, It is also found in desert areas with brown soils, with light layers of carbonate scales,

The most important plants are (Suaeda pruinosa Lange, Salsola tetrandra Forssk., Arthrocnemum macrostachyum (Moric.) K.Koch, Cutandia dichotoma (Forssk.) Trab., Schismus barbatus (L.) Thell).

In addition to the existence of other plant communities such as:

Artemisia herba-alba Asso community, Ziziphus lotus (L.) Lam. community, Halocnemum strobilaceum (Pall.) M.Bieb. community, Stipa lagascae Roem. & Schult. community

In sirte plains, in salt marshes habitat dominated by: Suaeda pruinosa Lang with cover percentage of 90%, Arthrocnemum macrostachyum (Moric.) K.Koch (85%), Halocnemum strobilaceum (Pall.) M. Bich. (85%),

Tamarix senegalensis DC.- Syn.Tamarix nilotica (Ehrenb.) Bunge (85%),Tetraena alba (L.f.) Beier & Thulin- syn. Zygophyllum album L. (75%).

On the other hand, the sand dune habitat was dominated by Echinops spinosissimus Turra-syn.Echinops spinosus L. (80%), Moltkiopsis ciliata (Forssk.) I.M. Johnest. (80%), Calotropis procerra (Aiton) Dryand. (77%),

Pancratium maritimum L. (75%), Silene succulenta Forssk. (75%). Heliotropium curassavicum L. (40%).

And the non-cultivated sandy lands was dominated by weeds Chenopodium murale L. (85%), Bassia indica L. (85%) Amaranthus graecizans L. (80%), Cynanchum acutum L. (75%).

Elsayed M. Ali Nafea (2015) Floristic Composition of the Plant Cover at Surt Region in Libya. CATRINA (2015), 12 (1): 63 -71-2010. (https://cat.journals.ekb.eg/article_18403.html)

Eastern zone:

The eastern pastoral area is confined between the Egyptian border in the east, the central region in the west,

the Mediterranean Sea in the north, and the rain line 50 mm south. Between two longitudes (20 d. -25 d. E) and two latitudes (30 d. -33 d. N) approximately.

The variety of plant communities in this region is due to the differences in the topography of the region and the quality of the soil from the coastline to the slopes of mountains and valleys.

In the coastal strip, the following communities can be seen:

Searsia- Salsola. Community:

It predominates in shallow, rocky soils that rise to more than 200 m above sea level,

the most important plants are (Searsia tripartita (Ucria) Moffett., Salsola tetragona Delile, Anabasis articulata (Forssk.) Moq, Suaeda palaestina Eig & Zohary., Suaeda pruinosa Lange,

Suaeda vera Forssk. ex J.F.Gmel, Haloxylon scoparium Pomel).

Euphorbia-Periploca Community:

It is located on rocky cliffs and especially in waterways.

The most important plants are(Euphorbia bivonae Steud.,Periploca laevigata Aiton, Noaea mucronata (Forssk.) Asch. & Schweinf., Salsola sp., Suaeda sp.).

Atriplex- Salsola Community:

In the lowlands with moderate salinity,

the most important plants are (Atriplex halimus L., Atriplex coriacea Forssk., Atriplex glauca L., Atriplex mollis Desf., Salsola tetrandra Forssk., Haloxylon scoparium Pomel, Sphenopus divaricatus (Gouan) Rchb.).

Searsia-Poa Community:

In the Benghazi Plain region, where the red soil,

the most important plants are (Searsia tripartita (Ucria) Moffett., Poa bulbosa L., Poa sinaica Steud., Poa vaginata Pamp., Thymbra capitata (L.) Cav., Carthamus nitidus Boiss., Plantago albicans L.,

Stipa parviflora Desf., Hordeum marinum Huds.).

In the southern slopes of Al-Jabal Al Akhdar, there are several plant communities such as:

Artemisia herba-alba Asso Community:

The most important plants are (Anabasis articulata (Forssk.) Moq., Noaea mucronata (Forssk.) Asch. & Schweinf., Deverra tortuosa (Desf.) DC., Lotus sp., Avena sp.).

Salsola-Suaeda Community:

Found in the area of the east of Al-Jabal Al Akhdar in salt soils, the most important plants are (Atriplex glauca L., Thymelaea hirsuta (L.) Endl., Artemisia herba-alba Asso, Plantago coronopus L., Stipa sp.).

Al-Shawsh, O., Suleiman, K. A. & Bin Mansoura, A.: Assessment and Protection of Pasture in Libya-Technical Center for Environmental Protection-Tripoli-Libya.(in Arabic)

The distribution and growth of natural vegetation in Benghazi Plain

The semi-desert or pre-desert region includes all the Benghazi Plain south of Wadi El Gattara (Barga El Hamra).

The vegetation cover here is richer in the north and east and it varies in response to the rain fall shifting northward in dry years and moving further south in wet rainy years.

However this area in general is grassland, and almost devoid of trees except near the escarpment, wadi floor s and some scattered places.

This region receives a mean rain fall of 100-210 mm/per annum, and it can he classified climatically as steppe with the exception of the south-eastern sector which can be classified as desert.

But in Pintail's classification, the region occurs within the continental steppe Division.

The surface cover of this region, in general, is thin and mainly sandy, sandy loam, or sandy clay loam,

For example in the depressions, the soil is mainly silt loam or silt clay loam, consequently, the density and variety of vegetation vary from place to place according to the ground surface.

While the thin soil cover allows only for the growth of annual plants (which complete their life cycle in a single season), the deep alluvial soils of the Wadi Enghar and Wadi El Bah areas,

as well as some scattered areas (depressions) all over the region, allow the storage of some water in a permanently wet, deeply seated layer, which provides the deep roots of perennial plants with a continuous supply of moisture.

The main tree species of the semi-desert area, especially in the northern sector and wadi floors are Rhus oxyacantha Aubrev. Pistacia lentiscus L.and Ziziphus lotus (L.)Lam.

These tree species, as was stated earlier, either grow individually or in small clumps Ziziphus lotus (L.)Lam., is almost the only species which is relatively widespread all over this region. Besides,

it is "believed that t h is species was widespread in the past, and covered the whole steppe region from Egypt to the Sirte area. It is for its fruit that the ancient Libyans, who lived in this area, consequently,

the soft material or the relatively deep alluvial soil of this area allows (as was stated earlier ) f o r the storage of some water, which provides this deep rooted desert tree with moisture throughout the year.

or cracks in the geological layers in this area, through which these long rooted trees could penetrate to underground water. Some small clumps of lotus are also found around Sidi Mohamed El Pazzani,

in the western part of depression around Gamines and Slug, as well as around Tika in the north-west. The main shrubs species of this region are Retama raetam (Forssk.) Webb and Thymelaea hirsute (L.) Endl.and Peganum harmala L.

The Peganum harmala L. plants are found mainly near the escarpment and around the populated villages in Gamines and Slug. Almost all the depressions near the escarpment, southeast of Slug, and along the coast,

covers by the dwarf plants (Haloxylon salicornicum (Moq.) Bunge ex Boiss.-syn. Haloxylon articulatum (Moq.) Bunge).

This very poor shrub, about 30 cm. high, marks the transition between the semi-desert steppe and the desert vegetation. The grass cover consists of various species.

These species are very luxuriant in favorable climatic conditions, during the period which usually extends from October-November to April-May.

Moreover, unless the spring rain fails, a carpet of lush flowers and herbs covers the ground and produces a very striking colorful display.

the dominant grass species in this region are. Phalaris minor Retz., Asphodelus microcarpus Salzm. & Viv. and Stipagrostis pungens (Desf.) De Winter-syn. Aristida pungens Desf. or especially around En-Nawaghia.

Asphodelus sp., Deverra tortuosa (Desf.) DC.-syn. Pituranthos tortuosus (Desf.) Benth. & Hook.f. ex Asch. & Schweinf.

and Cynara cornigera Lindl.-syn. Cynara sibthorpiana Boiss. & Heldr. is found mainly in Jardina Mudirya.

Less frequent species are Phalaris brachystachys Link and Bromus sp., Rare species are Avena barbata Pott ex Link, Aegilops ventricosaTausch. Rostraria cristata (L.) Tzvelev -syn. Koeleria phleoides (Vill.) Pers.

By the end of spring with the approach of the scorching summer sun, the soil dries and the grasses die and are blown about by the hot desert winds (Ghibli). During the summer season, only some harder bushes and thorns remain on the ground, and vast areas of bare land.

Hajjaji, Salem A. (1969) The land use patterns and rural settlement in the Benghazi plain, Durham theses, Durham University. Available at Durham E-Theses Online: http://etheses.dur.ac.uk/9644/



EL-Barasi, et all.(2015) stated that theDaphna is the eastern part of Marmarica plateau, which is an important zone at the Mediterranean coast north the Libyan Desert (Sahara),

it extends from the city of Tobruk (north eastern part of Libya) towards the Libyan-Egyptian border, characterized by low water resources and dry climate. The area is a semi desert coastal area of Marmarica plateau.

located in north eastern part of Libya at the Mediterranean sea, The area extends about 130 km and about 25 km deep south, approximately rectangular shape.

The annual rainfall rate is of 184 mm/year at Tobruk area,while at EL-Bardia area in the far east of the area is of 117 mm/year, while southward at Tobruk airport area 25 south the coast is 88.9mm/year.

L'Houerou (1965) stated that the vegetation in this pasture region may be divided in two associations, first one Thymelaea hirsuta (L.) Endl. and Noaea mucronata (Forssk.) Asch. & Schweinf.-syn. Noaea spinosissima (L.f.) Moq.

with coverage ranges between 20 to 30 %. The second association of Suaeda pruinosa Lange and Salsola tetrandra Forssk. this type occupies extensive areas in Marmarica area between Tobruk and Bardia it develops on slightly saline soils

with rather low coverage ranges between 10-20%.

In conformity with what Le Huoerou( 1997 ) stated that North African steppe land biome is characterized by several plant community types dominated by perennial bunch grasses, dwarf shrubs,

Mediterranean shrub lands/steppe ecotones, steppic fallows and depleted ermes of nitrophilous forbs.

Vegetation cover, is rather low in general, ranging between, (10-20%) manifesting the importance played, by topographic factors, in the variation of vegetation cover.

The salt-marsh vegetation cover, ranged between, (8-40 %) but sometimes it increases to (85%) especially close to the end of some wadis deltas,due to water residing.

While in some plateau vegetation the mean cover was (14-30 %) whereas, the mean cover as a whole was ( 21.3%).

These species are either annuals or perennials,the annuals are active only during the rainy season, short- lived plant growth appear during spells of rain and last as long as water is available.

Their appearance and abundance changes from one year to the other depending on the amount and frequency of rainfall.

The perennials on the other hand form more or less the permanent framework of the vegetation and do not suffer such drastic temporal changes in presence or abundance.

El- Barrani( 2008),He found 395 species mostly shrubs, under shrubs, perennials, annuals , distributed according to topography,which consisted wadiis (valleys ), narrow coastal areas, in the north and southern plateau zone As follows:

In the northern areas sand dune elements encountered are: Nitraria retusa (Forssk.) Asch., Retama raetam (Forssk.) Webb, Silene succulenta Forssk., Lygeum spartum Loefl. ex L., Citrullus colocynthis (L.) Schrad.

In saline depressions at the end of some wadis, salt marsh vegetation mainly composed is from species like: Arthrocnemum macrostachyum (Moric.) K.Koch, Sarcocornia fruticosa (L.) A.J.Scott-Syn. Arthrocnemum fruticosum (L.) Moq.,

Halocnemum strobilaceum (Pall.) M.Bieb., Atriplex mollis Desf., Tamarix aphylla (L.) H.Karst.

wadis depressions are more rich in number of species, they are constituted from species of dwarf shrub steppes, With a rain rate less than 200 mm, where spread chamaephytes such as:

Artemisia herba-alba Asso, Euphorbia dendroides L., Rhamnus lycioides L., Thymbra capitata (L.) Cav. -Syn. Thymus capitatus (L.) Hoffmanns. & Link, Phlomis floccosa D.Don, Asphodelus ramosus L.,

Searsia tripartita (Ucria) Moffett.- Syn. Rhus tripartita (Ucria) Grande, and of tall shrubs steppes, like: Ziziphus lotus (L.) Lam. and Atriplex halimus L.

While the dominant plateau species are:

Haloxylon scoparium Pomel, which represents a depletation stage, and Anabasis articulata (Forssk.) Moq. which occurs on silty shallow soils, Thymelaea hirsuta (L.) Endl.

in degraded steppes on sandy soils and in abandoned fields, Suaeda vermiculata Forssk. ex J.F.Gmel. on silty or sandy gypsic soils somewhat saline,

Deverra tortuosa (Desf.) DC.-syn. Pituranthos tortuosus (Desf.) Benth. & Hook.f. ex Asch. & Schweinf., Peganum harmala L.,

the latter grows mainly on soils enriched with nitrogen from livestock wastes

EL-Barasi & Barrani (2015) stated that two vegetation types are represented in the Daphna plateau:

A. The mode contract Type:

Permanent vegetation depending on precipitation or on accessible ground water, in the main wady channel with ground water relatively close to the surface.

B. Accidental vegetation type depending on the precipitation only:

According to the pattern of water redistribution the accidental vegetation may fall into the following groups:

1. Run-off dependent vegetation in the main wady channels.

2. Run-off dependent vegetation of plays formation.

3. Rain-off dependent vegetation on leveled plains of sand sheets.

EL-Barasi, Y. M. & Barrani, M. W. ( 2015): Land use and disturbance effects on the natural vegetation of Daphna rage zone(North Eastern part of Libyan coast), International Journal of Environment & water, ISSN 2052-3408, Vol , 4, Issue 2, 2015.



4-Desert ecosystem
Approximately 90% of the area of Libya is desert, the typically desert ecosystem where rainfall rates are less than (50 mm), Includes sub-environment systems such as:
Desert mountains-oases-desert valleys-Hamada. etc
In a study (El-Barasi, & Barrani 2012), explained the ecosystem of El-Harouge Mountain, which that differs from the surrounding desert areas,
where the terrain plays an important role in creating an ecological system relatively rich in comparison with the rest of the surrounding areas. these mountains are in the form of vast hills, covered with a layer of Igneous rocks,
when rain falls this topography causes run-off from high areas to low-lying areas and causes floods, especially since the type of the rainfall over these areas is hurricane.
This falls in the form of a barrage and these quantities of water appropriate conditions for the growth of many plant species that grow either annually after intensive rainfall, or permanent species.

In the EL-Harouge mountain, mainly vegetation grows in wadis and low-lying areas which are characterized by having access to larger quantities of runoff water following rainfall,

this water supports several species such as: Acacia tortilis (Forssk.) Hayne, Tamarix aphylla (L.) H.Karst, Pergularia tomentosa L., Retama raetam (Forssk.) Webb, Tetraena alba (L.f.) Beier & Thulin and Panicum turgidum Forssk.

Generally the wadis and depressions contain a greater number of plant species compared to other open areas. due to the fact that the open areas more affected by climatic and topographic factors,

while valleys have better environmental conditions in terms of soil moisture and also greater protection from wind effects, and they have more plant diversity and density.

The valleys are havens for many plant species that have receded from the high open areas that natural vegetation is concentrated in valleys because of the availability of appropriate factors for the growth of intensive plants.

Some species grow on the surface of the rocky heights such as:

Anabasis articulata (Forssk.) Moq. and Andrachne telephioides L., they get a very important amount of water mainly from fog and dew especially during the nights.

The percentage of plant coverage on the open area almost reached zero, meanwhile it varies between 15-40 % in some depressions and valley beds, but these areas remain isolated in the beds of the valleys and low-lying areas.

Acacia tortilis trees dominate many depressions, particularly in EL-Harouge mountains.

The salt marshes (Sabkha) are characterized by many salt-loving plants (Halophytes) that can grow in such environments. such as:

Nitraria retusa (Forssk.) Asch., Zygophyllum sp., Salsola sp. and Tamarix sp

List of species recorded in EL-Harouge mountain in different elevations (Adapted from El-Barasi, & Barrani 2012)



Latitude & longitude

Tamarix passerinoides Delile


28.57.523 N

17.09.030 E

Retama raetam (Forssk.) Webb


28.20.576 N

17.24.768 E

Tamarix aphylla (L.) H.Karst., Tetraena alba (L.f.) Beier & Thulin, Hyoscyamus muticus L.


28.56.199 N

17.16.280 E

Cornulaca monacantha Delile


27.53.152 N

18.41.043 E


27.53.624 N

18.43.509 E

Traganum nudatum Delile, Anabasis articulata (Forssk.) Moq.


28.47.824 N

17.03.996 E

Tamarix aphylla (L.) H.Karst.


28.39.435 N

17.19.960 E

Rhanterium suaveolens Desf., Fagonia arabica L., Pergularia tomentosa L., Panicum turgidum Forssk., Zilla spinosa (L.) Prantl, Genista microcephala Coss. & Durieu


27.40.366 N

18.30.120 E

Acacia tortilis (Forssk.) Hayne, Zilla spinosa (L.) Prantl, Rhanterium suaveolens Desf., Fagonia arabica L.


27.41.488 N

18.30.995 E

Acacia tortilis (Forssk.) Hayne, Panicum turgidum Forssk., Zilla spinosa (L.) Prantl, Citrullus colocynthis (L.) Schrad., Pergularia tomentosa L., Echiochilon fruticosum Desf.


27.42.839 N

18.33.303 E

Acacia tortilis (Forssk.) Hayne, Rhanterium suaveolens Desf., Fagonia arabica L., Fagonia indica Burm.f., Pergularia tomentosa L., Panicum turgidum Forssk., Zilla spinosa (L.) Prantl


27.42.352 N

18.32.946 E

Acacia tortilis (Forssk.) Hayne, Rhanterium suaveolens Desf., Panicum turgidum Forssk., Zilla spinosa (L.) Prantl


27.42.049 N

18.32.509 E

Acacia tortilis (Forssk.) Hayne, Acacia tortilis (Forssk.) Hayne, Zilla spinosa (L.) Prantl, Rhanterium suaveolens Desf., Fagonia arabica L., Fagonia indica Burm.f.


27.41.919 N

18.32.711 E

Acacia tortilis (Forssk.) Hayne, Panicum turgidum Forssk., Fagonia indica Burm.f., Citrullus colocynthis (L.) Schrad., Genista fasselata Decne.

27.43.064 N

18.31.551 E

Acacia tortilis (Forssk.) Hayne, Rhanterium suaveolens Desf., Fagonia arabica L., Fagonia indica Burm.f., Panicum turgidum Forssk., Zilla spinosa (L.) Prantl


27.42.713 N

18.32.868 E

Rhanterium suaveolens Desf.


27.44.148 N

18.31.468 E

Zilla spinosa (L.) Prantl, Bromus rubens L., Monsonia nivea (Decne.) Webb


27.41.884 N

18.31.906 E

Acacia tortilis (Forssk.) Hayne, Zilla spinosa (L.) Prantl, Rhanterium suaveolens Desf.


27.38.306 N

18.30.964 E

Acacia tortilis (Forssk.) Hayne, Pergularia tomentosa L., Fagonia indica Burm.f., Bromus rubens L.


27.41.013 N

18.31.768 E

Fagonia indica Burm.f.


27.41.272 N

18.30.634 E

Acacia tortilis (Forssk.) Hayne, Maerua crassifolia Forssk., Zilla spinosa (L.) Prantl, Rhanterium suaveolens Desf., Panicum turgidum Forssk., Genista fasselata Decne., Genista microcephala Coss. & Durieu, Citrullus colocynthis (L.) Schrad.


28.02.181 N

17.07.186 E

Cymbopogon schoenanthus (L.) Spreng.


27.54.466 N

17.26.992 E


El-Barasi, Y.M. & Barrani, M.W. (2012) Factors affecting natural vegetation on EL-Harouge Mountain, Central part of Libyan Desert (Sahara). Bocconea 24: 199-211. 2012. -ISSN 1120-4060.


In a study of the relationship between vegetation and soil factors in the Wadi Al Hayat area, the researchers found El-Bana, & Al-Mathnani (2009) seven vegetation groupsthat linked to a specific habitats:

Acacia tortilis (Forssk.) Hayne Community, occupied mainly the channels along the southern side of the wadi.

Phragmites australis-Typha domingensis Community, inhabited the swamps that collected the drainage fresh or brackish water from wells or irrigation lands.

Juncus acutus-Imperata cylindrica Community, represented in the wet saline flats of the abandoned cultivated fields.

Alhagi maurorum-Tamarix senegalensis Community, had the widest distribution along the wadi, and represented in the dry saline flats, that covered with soil crust.

Nitraria retusa-Tamarix senegalensis Community, occupied the sand sheets deposited on dry saline flats.

Tetraena alba (L.f.) Beier & Thulin Community,inhabited the stabilized sand dunes.

Calligonum comosum- Stipagrostis plumosa Community, represented in the stands of partially stabilized sand dunes.

El-Bana, M. I. & Al-Mathnani, M. A. (2009) Vegetation-soil relationships in the Wadi Al-Hayat Area of the Libyan Sahara. Australian Journal of Basic and Applied Sciences, 3(2): 740-747, 2009 ISSN 1991-8178.


In a study on plant diversity around Lake Qabroun which located in the Sahara, south of Libya, and has an area of about 0.06 km2 and a maximum depth of 9.2 m, and it lies 450 m above sea level,

Almathnani et all (2012) They found the plant species found in different sites around the lake were as follows: Phoenix dactylifera L. is the most common tree,

where, Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin. ex Steud. And Imperata cylindrica (L.) Raeusch. are the most dominant plants. The southern side of the lake was the most divers and plant cover area.

The appearance of Cyperus laevigatus L. grass in any site indicated that this site reached the sedge meadow stage., Cyperus laevigatus L. roots helps to aggregate the soil particles and accumulates organic matter,

which support other plant seeds to germinate and that may lead to reeds disappearance; that was very clear in the western side of the lake.

The appearance of Tamarix aphylla (L.) H.Karst. tree indicated shrubby stage of succession; it is halophyte tree helps to remediate the soil from salinity towards other types & cultivation.

Data revealed that the vegetation growth was mostly concentrated in the eastern and southern side of the lake. Foliage litters was more accumulated in the eastern and southern direction,

which lead to higher plant height, thickness and directional growth away from the waterside.

Reed reached the highest length, 3 meters from the water side at the southern sites; the location characterized by soft water leach and the oldest part of human activity. Imperata cylindrica (L.) Raeusch.

showed the highest growth and height 3 meters from the water side at the northern site.

Al-Mathnani, A. M., Ali Elssaidi, M. and Mohamed, M. I. (2012) Diversity and Ecological Succession around Gaber-Oun Hypersaline Lake Ecosystem-Libya. 2nd International Conference on Ecological, Environmental and Biological Sciences (EEBS'2012) Oct. 13-14, 2012 Bali (Indonesia).


Al-Mathnani, A. M., Elssaidi, M. A. (2012) Ecological Restoration of Gaber-Oun Hyper-Saline Lake (Southern Libya). International Conference on Chemical, Environmental and Biological Sciences (ICCEBS'2012) Penang, Malaysia.


In a study on life forms of plant species in the Wadi Tanezzuft, which located in the far southwest of Libya, lies on the west and north sides of Jabal Acacus (Highlands) and contains three big oases (Ghat, Al Barkat and Fehouet)

which as Saharan sites are quite rich of vegetation.

The main part of the valley studied covers an area more than 160 km long extends between Isine in the south and Tahala in the north and ended in a large flat area about 60 km the northern fringe of the Tadrast Acacus massif

and 125 km north of Ghat (Cremaschi and Zerboni, 2009),

centred at 26 d. N, 10 d.20 m.E, and elevation 595 m., Mukassabi, et all (2012) they found therophytes dominated followed by chameaphytes these formed the key character of the vegetation across this Saharan area.

There were phanerophyte species, restricted to shrubs and small trees capable of growing in such an extreme environment, Acacia nilotica (L.) Delile, Acacia tortilis (Forssk.) Hayne,

Balanites aegyptiaca (L.) Delile, Ficus cordata Thunb., Nitraria retusa (Forssk.) Asch., Ricinus communis L., Salvadora persica L., Tamarix aphylla (L.) H.Karst., Tamarix arborea (Sieber ex Ehrenb.) Bunge,

Tamarix passerinoides Delile, Tamarix tetragyna Ehrenb., Ziziphus spina-christi (L.) Desf., There are also a number of small perennials, and annuals.

Mukassabi, T. A., Ahmidat. G., Sherif, I. M., El-Mogasapi, A. and Thomas, P. A. (2012) Checklist and life forms of plant species in contrasting climatic zones of Libya. Biological Diversity and Conservation, 5/3 (2012) 1-12, ISSN 1308-8084 Online; ISSN 1308-5301 Print.