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McLachlan, A., Fisher, M., Al-Habsi, H.N., Al-Shukairi, S.S., Al-Habsi, A.M.: Ecology of sandy beaches in Oman. Journal of Coastal Conservation, 4: 181-190, 1998.


Abstract. The benthic macrofauna and physical features of 10 sandy beaches along the coast of Oman were surveyed quantitatively. This is a mesotidal regime mostly subject to low to moderate wave energy but more exposed in the south. Five northern beaches are tide-dominated, with low wave energy, and their profiles consist of a berm, a steep, swash-dominated upper shore and a broad tide-dominated terrace from mid-shore downwards. They are composed of moderately sorted fine to medium sands. Southern beaches experience greater wave energy, particularly during the summer southwest monsoon, and exhibit smoother, concave profiles with fine, fairly well sorted carbonate sand. 58 species and species groups were recorded, with crustaceans, polychaetes and molluscs dominant. In general species richness was high, at least 19 - 25 species per beach, but dry biomass moderate to low at 26 - 90 g/m shoreline, with one high value of 450 g/m. Total abundance was moderate at 3 - 73 ラ10 3 organisms/m of beach. Some zonation was evident with ocypodid crabs and Tylos in the supralittoral, cirolanid isopods on the upper shore and a variety of species on the lower shore. The coast of Oman appears to constitute a single zoogeographic region, but with some regional differentiation between north and south due to varying physical conditions. Thus, OmanÕs beaches are characterized by tide-dominated morphodynamics and exceptionally high species richness.

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