Seasonal Patterns of Ecological Indices For Keystone Animals Groups In Three Types of Iraqi Marshes During 2005 -2007


Seasonal ecological indices were calculated for three keystone biological groups (macroinvertebrates, fishes and aquatic birds) during the period 2005-2007 in three types of restored southern Iraqi marshes freshwater non-tidal (Huwaiza), oligosaline non-tidal (West Hammar) and mesosaline tidal (East Hammar). It seem that each marsh have its own timing for increase or decrease of diversity, richness and evenness. In general high modes for ecological indices appeared in summer and spring for macroinvertebrates and fishes lower ones in autumn and winter respectively, aquatic birds have high score in winter–spring period and low one in summer. Differences did existed in styles and timing of highest and lowest values in three types of marshes due to different prevailing ecological situation. Summer was the time for higher score for ecological indices for macroinvertebrates and fishes, winter recorded the lowest values. Aquatic birds have different mode. Non-tidal freshwater marsh was similar to non-tidal oligosaline marsh especially in timing of high mode of ecological indices. Tidal mesosaline marsh partly similar to non-tidal oligosaline and wildly different to that non-tidal freshwater marsh. The ecological indices of aquatic birds improved gradually to reach integrated status. The improvement of hydrological situation of the restored marshes led to improve of ecological indices especially those of aquatic birds.