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

Ecological status of the marine subtidal habitats and the effects of the 1991 Gulf War oil spill, with special reference to soft-substrata communities

A b s t r a c t: Surveys of subtidal benthic communities were conducted in February, May/June and October/November 1992 in the bay areas of Dawhat ad-Dafi and Dawhat al-Musallamiya. These local surveys revealed the diversity of marine habitats found elsewhere in the northern Arabian Gulf: coral patch and fringing reefs, seagrass beds, macroalgae-dominated rockflats, and bare sand and muddy seabeds. Detailed analysis of four permanent stations confirmed the rich species composition of the soft-substrata benthic communities as well as a seasonal trend in species numbers and abundance in the infaunal invertebrate community. With the exception of two small, localised sites, there was no visual evidence of oil contamination in the subtidal region.


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