University of Oulu

Baubekova, A., Ahrari, A., Etemadi, H., Klöve, B., & Haghighi, A. T. (2024). Environmental flow assessment for intermittent rivers supporting the most poleward mangroves. In Science of The Total Environment (Vol. 907, p. 167981). Elsevier BV.

Environmental flow assessment for intermittent rivers supporting the most poleward mangroves

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Author: Baubekova, Aziza1; Ahrari, Amirhossein1; Etemadi, Hana2;
Organizations: 1Water, Energy, and Environmental Engineering Research Unit, University of Oulu, Finland
2Environmental Science, Persian Gulf Research Institute, Persian Gulf University, Bushehr, Iran
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 11.8 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-10-25


The most vulnerable and dynamic ecosystems in terms of response to climate change and fluctuations in hydrological conditions are mangroves, particularly those located on the edge of their latitudinal range limits. The four primary Iranian mangrove forest sites: Nayband, Qeshm, Gabrik, and Govatr, located in the northern part of the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman already exist near the limit of their tolerance to extreme temperature, precipitation, and salinity. Due to extreme climate conditions at these locations, the mangrove trees are usually smaller and less dense as compared with mangroves closer to the equator complicating their monitoring and mapping efforts. Despite the growing attention to the ecological benefits of mangrove forests and their importance in climate change mitigation, there are still a few studies on these marginal mangroves. Therefore, we investigated whether the variation in mangrove ecosystem health is related to the changes in physical parameters and differs between estuarine and sea-side locations. We developed a comprehensive database on NDVI values, associated rainfall, temperature, and river flow based on in-situ and remote sensing measurements. By understanding the normal hydrologic patterns that control the distribution and growth of mangroves in arid and semi-arid regions, we are questioning the need for environmental flow allocation to restore mangrove ecosystem health. This brings us to the second gap in the literature and the need for further studies on Environmental Flow assessment for intermittent and ephemeral rivers. Alike other mangroves studied, forests showed greenness seasonality, positively correlated with rainfall, and negatively correlated with temperature. As there was no clear difference between estuarine and marine sites, freshwater influence in the form of river flow, unlike temperature, cannot be considered a major limiting factor. Nevertheless, during prolonged droughts mangroves could benefit from the recommended allocation of Environmental Flow during the cold period (November–March).

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Series: Science of the total environment
ISSN: 0048-9697
ISSN-E: 1879-1026
ISSN-L: 0048-9697
Volume: 907
Article number: 167981
DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2023.167981
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 218 Environmental engineering
1172 Environmental sciences
Funding: The authors would like to thank MAA-Ja Vesitekniikan Tuki R.Y. - MVTT (Project no. 41878). We would also like to acknowledge Iran National Science Foundation (INSF) for providing some financial support (Project no. 99025382).
Dataset Reference: Data will be made available on request.
Copyright information: © 2023 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (