The Wetland Book pp 1097-1103 | Cite as

Reed Products from Lake Burullus, Egypt

Reference work entry

Abstract

Lake Burullus is a shallow, brackish, Mediterranean coastal lagoon situated between the two branches of the Nile that form its Delta. It is one of the Protected Areas of Egypt, registered as a Ramsar site and Important Bird Area. It has an area of 410 km2, maximum length and width of 47 and 14 km. Its depth varies between 0.4 and 2 m. Common reed Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin. ex Steud in Lake Burullus offers provisioning service products as it is high-quality livestock forage and silage during its early growth stages, while at maturity it becomes tough and unpalatable. It was an important source of matting in ancient Egypt and is still widely used for this purpose, used as a soil binder to prevent erosion, valued resource for thatching and construction of windbreaks for crop protection and nets for fishing and capture of birds. It is reported as a folk medicine for treating leukemia, bronchitis, cholera, diabetes, dropsy, gout, rheumatism, typhoid, antiemetic for acute arthritis, jaundice and food poisoning. Potential additional uses include production of paper pulp; some success has been achieved in Sweden in growing and harvesting P. australis for energy production. In South America, the natives have used its stems to make arrow shafts, prayer sticks, weaving rods, pipe stems, screens, and nets. Unfortunately, the area of common reed in Lake Burullus decreased by about one third in one decade (1988 - 1998). However, its management in Lake Burullus should include periodical partial removing between the islets in order to avoid lake fragmentation into four disconnected basins. Anyhow, reed harvesting in Lake Burullus can hold back successional processes.

Keywords

Mediterranean wetland Nile delta Common reed Reed products Livestock forage Folk medicine 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Botany DepartmentTanta UniversityTantaEgypt

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