El-Bana, M.I., I. Nijs and A.H.A. Khedr
Natural accumulation of wind-borne sediments within or around the canopies of plants plays an important role in the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of many coastal and desert ecosystems. The formation of such phytogenic mounds (nebkhas) creates patches that can strongly influence the spatial distribution of plant and soil resources. In land restoration of arid and semiarid environments it is important to study the potential role of such biological patchiness that may provide sites for coexistence of species with different life and growth forms. Our main objective was to test whether the nebkhas of a leguminous shrub, Retama raetam (white broom), promote restoration of herbaceous vegetation and soil in the degraded rangelands of northern Sinai.