Mangroves in the east coast of Qatar is one of the most productive ecosystems that supports complex communities of invertebrates and fishes. These habitats are exposed to impacts associated with the rapid industrial developments in the region and in the eastern coast of Qatar, where the natural mangrove reserve resides, making its biodiversity at risk of impacts of pollution from different sources. In order to assess the quality of the sediments of the mangrove and to assess the associated biodiversity of benthic macrofauna, integrative assessment was performed using chemical, biological and toxicological measurements. The quality of the sediments and the structure of the associated benthic community were examined in three locations (Al Dakhira, Al-Khor and the Port), that are located at different distances to potential sources of pollution. The first location while the latter is near a harbor. Sediment concentrations and tissue residues of organic contaminants (PAHs, PCBs, Dioxin and Furan) and trace metals (Hg, Pb, As and Cu) were determined in order to assess levels and bioavailability of contaminants. Biodiversity of benthic macrofaunal community where also estimated in the sediments bi-annually during 2013-2014. Sediments analysis showed that both trace metals and organic contaminants were impacted by proximity to potential sources of pollution with higher levels of contaminants in Al Dakhira and the port. Some contaminants like dioxin and furan were not detected in the study area. Species richness seemed to be impacted by the sediment quality where the highest number of species of benthic macrofaunal species (46 species) where reported from Al Khor. The number of species decreased by about 15% near the industrial city while it is reduced by over 60% near the harbor. Long term monitoring of these habitats is highly recommended for effective management and conservations. Long term monitoring of these habitats is highly recommended for effective management and conservations.


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  • Received: 07 December 2015
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