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Mesopotamian marshes were the largest wetlands in the Middle East with its unique fauna and flora. The great cut of
freshwater discharge coming from Tigris and Euphratis during 2008 - 2010, together with climate change, has led to
salinity elevation which in turn caused a remarkable change in the aquatic biodiversity of the region. Among these changes,
new taxa of microalagae and macrophytes were introduced and marine forms were found in places where they have never been
observed before, such as
Actinocyclus subtilis, Amphora robusta, Hydrosira triquetra
and others. In fact the later species has not
been previously recorded from the whole Arabian Gulf. The possibility that such species were drifted from the Gulf is eliminated
because these taxa were found as epiphytes indicating favorable conditions for their survival. With the continuous decline of
watershed in Southern Iraq, biodiversity, not only of microalgae, may suffer from irreversible changes, a condition may require
a considerable attention.
Adil Al-Handal is a professor at the department of Marine Biology, marine Science Center, Basra University, Iraq. He obtained his B.Sc in Marine
Biology from the University of Basra, 1972, his M.Sc. in Oceanography from the department of Oceanography, Alexandria, Egypt 1979 and hid
Ph.D. from the Department of Oceanography, University of Swansea Wales,United Kingdon on 1985. He Worked as phytoplankton expert at the
Swedish Institute of Metreology and Hydrology and at the Department of Marine Ecology, University of Gothenburg, Sweden. His resaerch focus
on the ecology and taxonomy of microalgae, particularly diatoms where he has discovered several species new to science. He is also interested in
investigating past climatic changes using diatoms as bioindicators. Al-Handal also enrolled in studying the effect of ultraviolet radiation on microalgae
in Antarctica. He also participated in Environment Imapct Assesment studies for developement projects in South Iraq.
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