Environmental assessment of Mangrove communities in Tarut Bay, Eastern Arabian Peninsula, based on multidisciplinary approach
- Centre for the Environment, University of Dublin, Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland
Keywords: Mangrove, Pollution, Vegetation, Tarut, Multidisciplinary
Abstract. Tarut Bay contains some of the most important mangrove forests in the Arabian Gulf countries, which are facing significant anthropogenic pressures. A multidisciplinary approach based on remote sensing, fieldwork, and chemical analysis was adopted in order to identify the pressures facing the mangrove communities in Tarut Bay and subsequently evaluate its current environmental condition. The analysis focused on the 2011 to 2014 timeframe in particular. The results indicate that the mangrove communities in Tarut Bay cover currently around 11.32 square km. Two major mangrove cover changes were identified in the area during the studied period, with a net loss of around 0.675 square km happening in the interim. The analysis adopted the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) to evaluate the temporal change in vegetation concentration. Moreover, the study evaluated the overall pollution condition of 19 mangrove communities in Tarut Bay to be medium based on the Pollution Load Index (PLI). Nevertheless, some of the mangrove communities in Tarut Bay are very healthy while others are very polluted and require immediate action to improve their pollution status. The findings of this work led to recommending mangrove improvement measures to address further deterioration and disappearance of mangrove communities, including the re-opening of natural inlets and avoiding residential developments on the mangrove coast.