Marine Ecology of the Arabian Region

Patterns and Processes in Extreme Tropical Environments


  • Charles Sheppard, The University of Sydney, Australia
  • Andrew Price, IUC (World Conservation Union), Gland, Switzerland and The University, Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K.
  • Callum Roberts, The University, Newcastle upon Tyne, U.K.

That part of the Indian Ocean bordering Saudi Arabia is a rich mosaic of coastal and marine ecosystems, both natural and man-made. Among these are coral reefs, mangroves, tidal flats, seagrasses, and other hard and soft substrata. Some ecosystems are relatively simple, while others such as the coral reefs are highly complex and among the most diverse in the Indian Ocean. The region divides into several large, semi-enclosed water bodies whose different physical characteristics result in distinct habitats. The overall aridity, extremes of water temperature, and often very high salinities have produced some of the most extreme marine climates on Earth.This book summarizes the available information on the region, then reviews the processes shaping the various marine and coastal systems. It relates patterns in marine assemblages to the strong environmental gradients and biogeographic barriers in the region. Finally, the book considers the human dimension. Some of the world's poorest and richest nations border these seas, making diverse claims on fisheries and other natural resources. The 1991 Gulf War is only the most recent of a range of impacts affecting the region. Approaches for resolving the increasing resource use conflicts are described.This volume will be of immense value to research workers, students of marine biology, and environmental managers in general, as well as to those with a particular interest in this part of the world.
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Post-graduate and research marine biologists, scientists preparing impact statements for oil and other off-shore industries, and advanced students.


Book information

  • Published: March 1992
  • ISBN: 978-0-12-639490-0


"Written by scientists with great knowledge of the area, the book is authoritative and detailed as well as being readable, well and profusely illustrated, interesting, and up-to-date."

"The book presents, in one work, the latest information on the ecology of the Arabian region."

Table of Contents

Introduction.Origins and the Marine Climate: Origins, Geography, and substrates in the Arabian Area.The Marine Climate.Marine Ecosystems: Reefs and Coral Communities.Coral Reef Fish Assemblages.Other Arabian Reef Components and Processes.Seaweeds and Seasonality in Arabian Seas.Seagrasses and Dynamic Substrates.Inter-Tidal Areas.Mangroves.Inter-Tidal Areas 2.Marshes, Sabkha, and Beaches.The Pelagic System.Synthesis: Marine Biogeography of the Arabian Region.Ecosystem Responses to Extreme Natural Stresses.Use and Management: Arabian Fisheries.Human Use and Environmental Pressures.Coastal Zone Management.References.Index.Origins and Geography of the Marine Area.The Marine Climate.Benthic Ecosystems and Their Distributions.Coral Reefs.Mangroves and Marsh Plants.Seagrass Meadows.Seaweeds.Pelagic Communities and Fisheries.Human Involvements in the Marine Ecosystems and Resources.References.Index.