Abstracts Courier Forschungsinstitut Senckenberg, 166.1994, Frankfurt a.M.

Intertidal recovery in the Dawhat ad-Dafi and Dawhat al-Musallamiya region (Saudi Arabia) after the Gulf War oil spill

A b s t r a c t: In order to assess the damage and recovery rate of intertidal habitats after the 1991 Gulf War oil spill, intertidal surveys were carried out between November 1991 and November 1992 in the Dawhat ad-Dafi and Dawhat al-Musallamiya area of the Saudi Arabian Gulf coast. Interim results from these surveys show that the number of species and the number of individuals has increased but they are still lower on the oil-impacted shores than on the control sites. Over this period recolonisation into previously oiled zones has occurred on the more active shores where the tar has been broken up by physical action. The soft-sediment shores have developed extensive algal mats while the upper zones remain heavily tarred preventing recolonisation by typical fauna. Juveniles of the crab Cleistostoma dotilliformeand the polychaete Perinereis vancaurica have been found settling and living in heavily oiled substrates. Recruitment of species with planktonic larvae is occurring successfully. There is no evidence of lower shore contamination.


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