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Trial planting of mangroves (Avicennia marina) and salt-marsh plants (Salicornia europaea) in oil-impacted soil in the Jubail area, Saudi Arabia

A b s t r a c t: Salt-marshes and mangroves of the Saudi Arabian Gulf coast were identified as the most severely affected habitats following the 1991 Gulf War oil spill. Very little natural re-establishment has been observed within the intertidal salt-marshes between Ras az-Zaur and Abu Ali Island. Small-scale planting of the mangrove Avicennia marina and the salt-marsh plant Salicornia europaea were carried out, using a variety of planting techniques, to determine the feasibility of habitat restoration. After being planted into oiled substrate using suitable planting techniques, mangroves survived for at least two and a half years, while salt-marsh plants survived for at least seven months, in good condition. As Salicornia is an annual plant it dies off in winter, but no seeds were seen to germinate.


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