Deep Oceans and Biodiversity

Seventy per cent of the Earth’s surface is covered by the oceans. Its coral reefs are its rainforests and they teem with life, from minute plankton at the bottom of the food chain to giant whales, the largest animals that have ever lived. The biodiversity of the oceans is greater than that found on land and estimated to be between 50–80 per cent of the total. This rich marine biodiversity is suffering the same fate as its land-based cousins. Oceans play a major part in maintaining the CO2 balance, but like terrestrial ecosystems they suffer when this balance is disrupted. … Continue reading

Mangroves in Qatar: Perspectives

Mangroves are trees and shrubs that have adapted to life in a saltwater environment, usually found in the intertidal zone of a coastal or estuarine area. The halophyte characteristics of a mangrove tree allows it to grow in saline environments where no other tree can, thereby making significant contributions to the local ecosystem. Yet these reservoirs of “blue carbon” are seriously threatened. Across the globe, coastal ecosystems are currently being lost at a rate of about 2% a year – a staggering number when the carbon storage potential is considered.  In a harsh desert environment such as Qatar, mangroves are one … Continue reading