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Water composition and filamentous algae in the irrigation and drainage networks of Al-Hassa Oases, Saudi Arabia



Water composition and filamentous algae in the irrigation and drainage networks of Al-Hassa Oases, Saudi Arabia



Cryptogamic Botany 4(1): 1-7



Surveys of water chemistry and algal vegetation at eight stations in Al-Hassa oases, the largest networks of irrigation and drainage canals in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, were made during April 1990. The waters may be characterized as moderately to highly calcareous, the tarter mostly due to circulation of re-used water from field to field. Reactive Si ( hivin x = 12.6 mg/l) P ( hivin x = 0.29 mg/l) and F hivin x = 0.76 mg/l) in particular are high. Dense packages of floating mats (52 m-2) of Lyngbya majuscula in an irrigation canal demonstrated marked differentiation with other stations. However, filamentous weeds such as Lyngbya majuscula, Cladophora glomerata, Spirogyra sp. and Vaucheria spp. were also common in irrigation and drainage networks. These are considered to be the bulk of total bio-mass and a constant nuisance to "Al-Hassa Irrigation and Drainage Authority". Concerning the biology and the dynamic of populations of these weeds, some suggestions for their control measures are included. A fresh-water red alga Compsopogon coeruleus apparently not recorded so far from Saudi Arabia was common in drainage canals along with Enteromorpha intestinalis which is basically a marine alga but well established in this environment. Pool communities consist of epizoic algae mostly dominated by Lyngbya majuscula and infrequent species of Basicladia chelonum on the carapace and tail of turtle Mauremys caspica showing little host specificity.

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