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This study was conducted to evaluate the abundance and distribution pattern of three keystone Vachellia taxa in wadi Khoda and wadi Rahaba, Gebel Elba National Park, a protected area in south-eastern Egypt. These taxa included Vachellia tortilis subsp. tortilis, Vachellia tortilis subsp. raddiana, and Vachellia ehrenbergiana. In wadi Khoda, only two of these taxa were detected (V. tortilis subsp. raddiana and V. tortilis subsp. tortilis), while all three taxa were encountered in wadi Rahaba. The density of trees in wadi Khoda was 34.3 plant ha−1 compared to 26.3 plant ha−1 in wadi Rahaba. Vachellia tortilis subsp. raddiana was the most frequently observed tree, with an average of 47.93% and 68.25% in wadi Rahaba and wadi Khoda, respectively. Crown depth and tree height were mainly associated with elevation, indicating that elevation plays a key role in the growth of these Vachellia taxa. Our results suggest that human activities have had limited effect on the distribution of these three keystone taxa. Thus, management in Gebel Elba National Park should continue to limit the impact of human activities on these three keystone species.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.