Safety intervention of seagrasses (Doha, Qatar)

Transplantation of seagrasses in the lagoon of Doha (Qatar)

Study area

Nearby the airport of Doha, Qatar’s capital, a team of SELC marine biologists is carrying out an operation for the safety of seagrasses Halodule uninervis, Halophila ovalis and Halophila stipulacea, and the bivalve mollusc Pinna bicolor.

The lagoon where these species live extends for approximately 100 ha and falls within the areas affected by the forthcoming enlargement of the New Doha International Airport. The mapping performed by SELC in 2013 revealed the presence of species of conservation interest which required an intervention of explant and planting of the seagrasses and of the mollusc on another site.

The geo-morphological characteristics of the site and the strong tidal range made the manual intervention of explant-planting more advantageous compared to a mechanized one, often used by SELC in the Lagoon of Venice.

The ongoing activities involve the explant of seagrasses from a donor site, of approximately 1 ha and replanting in a receiving site which covers about 2 ha. The intervention of explant and planting of these species will be followed by a multi-year monitoring which will be completed in 2017.