|Aquatic flora of Saudi Arabia.|
Aquatic plants are important part of fresh water, brackish or marine aquatic ecosystems. They help removing the nutrients and other pollutants from streams and provide a habitat for fish, shrimp and other aquatic species and provide forage for waterfowl. Hydrophytes — are plants that have adapted to living in or on aquatic environments. Saudi Arabian aquatic plants are growing in shallow water bodies. They are characterized by thin cuticle, permanently opened stomatas with inactive guard cells, specialized flat leaves with well defined aerenchyma and feathery roots for oxygen intake. Fully aquatic plants have submerged or floating habits adapted to live in their habitats and do not grow well out of water. Semi-aquatic plants, on the other hand, have aerial stems with well developed root system. Helophytes are another group of plants that can withstand extended periods of time submerged under water.
In Saudi Arabia, the aquatic flora is not strikingly rich. Members of aquatic group can be seen in drainage canals or in shallow stagnant waters of natural seasonal streams or man made drainage systems. Some of the species belonging to the flora of Saudi Arabia are cosmopolitan, such as Lemna spp., which are introduced into the Kingdom. In most cases, introductions take place accidentally by humans or by visiting migratory birds like Water Fowl.
The aquatic flora of Saudi Arabia can be divided into two main categories, viz., coastal and Fresh-water. Coastal aquatic flora includes plants belonging to salt marshes, mangroves and plants such as marine grasses. The fresh water flora is divided into two categories, viz. Riparian (drainage canals and temporary streams) and Palustrine (includes marshes, swamps). Saudi Arabia has about 38 big and small natural wetlands and 13 man-made wetlands, most of which are seen along the coastal regions of Red Sea and Arabian Gulf.
Some of the marine and fresh-water hydrophytes found in Saudi Arabia.
Pteridophytes (Moist habitats)
Fresh water plants
Marine Aquatic Plants
Major wetlands in Saudi Arabia.
Abu Ali (Approximately 12,500 ha.)
27 20'N, 49 40'E; in the Gulf northeast of Jubail, Eastern Province.
Al-Ha'ir (2,500 ha.)
24 30'N, 46 50'E; c.25 km south of Riyadh City, Riyadh Province.
Al-Hasa Lagoons (Approximately 7,500 ha)
25 30'N, 50 00'E; near the towns of Hofuf and Abqaiq in Eastern Province.
Al-Wajh Bank (Approximately 288,000 ha.)
25 35'N, 36 45'E; in the northern Red Sea, about 120 km south of Al-Wajh, Tabuk.
Asfar Lake (Approximately 60 km east of Arabian Gulf)
25º 31' 46.55'' 49º 47' 33.56'' (353ft), Al-Ahsa region
Dawhat ad-Dafi and Dawhat al-Musallamiya (20,000 ha.)
North of Jubail, Eastern Province.
Dawmat al-Jandal (Approximately 2,500 ha)
29 48'N, 39 53'E; on the eastern outskirts of Dawmat al-Jandl, Al-Jauf region.
Farasan Islands (approximately 70,000 ha of land)
16 20'-17 20'N, 41 24'-42 26'E; in the southern Red Sea, Jizan Province.
Gulf Coral Islands (Approximately 190 ha)(Harqus 2 ha, Karan 128 ha, Kurain 8 ha, Jana 33 ha and Juraid 20 ha).
Harqus 27 56'N, 49 41'E; Karan 27 44'N, 49 50'E; Kurain 27 39'N, 4950'E; Jana 27 22'N, 49 54'E; Juraid 27 11'N, 49 52'E; in the northern Arabian Gulf, Eastern Province.
Gulf of Salwah (Area: 62,500 ha.)
25 15'N, 50 40'E; on the Gulf coast in Eastern Province.
Jabal Qaraqir (160,000 ha.)
27 27'N, 36 36'E; approximately 80 km south of Tabuk Town, Tabuk.
Jeddah South Corniche and Central (Approximately 900 ha.)
Jeddah (central) north of Port 21 30'N, 39 10'E; South Corniche 21 23'N, 39 07'E; on the Red Sea coast, Makkah Emirate.
Jizan Bay (200 ha.)
16 53'N, 42 32'E; on the southern Red Sea coast, Jizan Province.
Khawr 'Amiq (Approximately 150 ha.)
18 26'N, 41 26'E; on the Red Sea coast, 30 km northwest of al-Birk, Makkah Region.
Khawr Wahlan (Approximately 1,000 ha.)
16 45'N, 42 40'E; on the southern Red Sea coast, approximately 35 km south of Jizan, Jizan Province.
Kutambil Island (Approximately 8 ha.)
17 53'N, 41 42'E; in the Red Sea northwest of Shuqaiq, Jizan Province.
Makkah Wastewater Stream (Approximately 300 ha.)
21 17'N, 39 41'E; southwest of Makkah City, Makkah Region.
Malaki Dam (2,500 ha.)
17 03'N, 42 58'E; 15 km east of Abu Arish, Jizan Emirate.
Qishran Bay (Area: Approximately 40,000 ha. )
20 15'N, 40 10'E; on the Red Sea coast north of Al-Lith, Makkah Region.
Sabkhat al-Fasl Lagoons (Approximately 500 ha.)
Southwestern edge of Jubail Industrial City, Eastern Province.
Sabkha Al-Awshaziyah (438,081.25 sq. m, N 26º 03' 56''; E 44º 07' 56'')
Shallal ad-Dahna (Approximately 200 ha.)
18 55'N, 42 12'E; 90 km north of Abha City, just south of Tanumah village, Asir Province.
Shuqaiq Mangrove (Approximately 200 ha.)
17 48'N, 41 52'E; on the southern Red Sea coast, Jizan Province.
Tarut Bay (Approximately 41,000 ha.)
26 40'N, 50 10'E; on the Gulf coast east of Qatif and north of Dammam, Eastern Province.
Umm al-Qamari (14.7 ha.)
18 59'N, 41 06'E; in the Red Sea southwest of Qunfudah, Makkah Region.
Uruq al-Mutaridah (40 ha.)
20 41'N, 54 42'E; in the Rub'al Khali (Empty Quarter) in Eastern Province.
'Uyun Layla (3,000 ha)
22 15'N, 46 45'E; about 10 km south of Layla Town, Riyadh Province.
Wadi Lajb (Approximately 250 ha)
17 35'N; 42 54'E; near the village of Ar Rayth some 40 km northeast of Baysh Town, Jizan Province.
Wadi Rabigh Springs (35 ha)
23 00'N, 39 30'E; on the Tihamah plains, Makkah and Al-Madinah Region.
Wadi Turabah (Approximately 5,000 ha.)
20 30'N, 41 10'E; 80 km north of Al-Baha.
Yanbu Royal Commission Zone (Approximately 700 ha.)
23 56'N, 38 14'E; at Madinat Yanbu al-Sinaiyah on the Red Sea coast, Al-Madinah.
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