Distribution and Diversity of Benthic Marine Macroalgae in Islands Around Qatar
AuthorAl-AShwal, Aisha Ahmed
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Extending into the Arabian Gulf, Qatar is surrounded by a number of islands mostly scattered by the eastern coastline. With the unique physical characteristics of the Gulf which is a highly saline sea with high seawater temperatures, there is an urge need to investigate the macroalgae living in such harsh environment. Macroalgae plays an important role in the food web as they are primary producers and providers of food for other organisms. They also provide shelter and habitat in the marine ecosystem for herbivorous fish and other invertebrate animals. Additionally, macroalgae plays an outstanding role in reducing CO2 from the atmosphere and increasing the level of dissolved oxygen in their immediate environment. However, there are few studies on marine macroalgae in Qatar and no previous studies found related to macroalgae from the islands around Qatar. The present work contributes to the macroalgae research by providing the first survey of distribution and diversity of benthic marine macroalgae in islands around Qatar. The marine benthic green, red and brown macroalgae of intertidal and subtidal in marine zone areas around Qatar were collected during Qatar's Islands project which started 2018. The collected macroalgae are documented and a total of 67 species of macroalgae are recorded for all islands around Qatar, 24 Chlorophyta (Green algae), 25 Rhodophyta (Red algae) and 18 species Phaeophyta (Brown algae). The Red algae are dominant taxon in term of species richness, accounting for an average of 37% of the species at all study sites. The islands which had more species are Al-Beshaireya 58 Species, Al-Aaliya 53 Species, Sheraouh 48 Species, Janan 43 Species and Bu Felaita 37 Species. Our results show that islands located at eastern and southeastern coast of Qatar have more diversity of algae species than those located at the western and northwestern coast.
- Theme 1: Energy, Environment & Resource Sustainability [109 items ]