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Abstract Detail

Conservation Biology

Abdulhasan, Nabeel [1].

The Restoration of Mesopotamian Marshlands in Southern Iraq- Botanical Perspective.

Historically, the Mesopotamian marshlands covered approximately 20,000km2, extended over three provinces of southern Iraq, and presented in three major marshes, (Hawaiza, Hammar, and Central Marshes). The mass desiccation of Mesopotamian marshlands during the 1990s, resulted in the disappearance of many aquatic and semi aquatic plants. The re-flooding of 2003 brought exceptional, significant, and rapid environmental restoration in just a short time. By 2007, maximum restoration of the marshlands was attained, with 58% of the original flooded area restored. Regarding plant cover, more than 50 species were observed during field surveys between 2003 and 2010; totaling 50% restoration of aquatic plants historically recorded in the marshlands. In 2005, Utricularia australis and Nymphoides indica were listed as non-restored plants, but after 2006 they were observed for the first time in the Hawaiza and Central Marshes respectively. There was one invasive species Hydrilla verticillata, which was recorded in all the restored marshes. The "Iraqi Marshlands Habitat Classification System" has been developed to inventory vegetation types of the habitats in these marshlands and to develop a methodology for application elsewhere in Iraq. Climate change, increase of upstream agricultural activities, urban development and dam building continue to threaten these important wetlands with repeat drought. Some actions, such as modifying the water regime and building regulators at the outlets of these marshlands, were made by Iraq's government as part of the conservation activities.

Broader Impacts:

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Related Links:
Nature Iraq website

1 - Nature Iraq, Nature Iraq, Sulimaniya, NA, Iraq

Aquatic Plants.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Session: 45
Location: Waterman Room/Chase Park Plaza
Date: Wednesday, July 13th, 2011
Time: 10:45 AM
Number: 45003
Abstract ID:184

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