Journal of Coastal Conservation

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 189–195 | Cite as

Floristic composition of arid off –shore islands in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  • Sabitha Sakkir
  • Junid N Shah
  • Pritpal Soorae
  • Mohamed Al Mehairbi
  • Shaikha Al Dhaheri


Data on flora and vegetation of 14 off-shore islands representing different habitat types were studied for investigating floristic composition, vegetation types and correlation with their habitats and ecosystem. The results demonstrate considerable plant distribution and diversity among the islands within the limited spectrum of species; encompassing a total of 47 species, belonging to 43 genera under 24 families. The most representative families were Amaranthaceae (9 species), Fabaceae (4 species), Poaceae (4 species) and Asteraceae and Aizoaceae (3 species each). Fourteen families are represented by only one species. The mangrove species, Avicennia marina, occurs throughout the coast of Abu Dhabi in discontinuous patches and in different water salinities. The studies also seek to underline that dominant species that constitutes the flora of Abu Dhabi are salt tolerant in nature. Compared to other Arabian Peninsula ecosystems, UAE perhaps has a higher coastal: mainland area ratio, which has contributed to a natural dominance of salt tolerant species among the community. The studies show 40% similarity among islands with respect to the species diversity. The floristic composition of the off-shore islands also indicates a need to consider these sites as protected sites.


Flora Vegetation Halophytes Coastal habitat Arabian peninsula 



We would like to thank the staff of Terrestrial and Marine Biodiversity Sector (TMBS) Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi for their support and encouragement.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sabitha Sakkir
    • 1
  • Junid N Shah
    • 1
  • Pritpal Soorae
    • 1
  • Mohamed Al Mehairbi
    • 1
  • Shaikha Al Dhaheri
    • 1
  1. 1.Terrestrial and Marine Biodiversity SectorWildlife Assessment and Conservation, Environment Agency - Abu DhabiAbu DhabiUnited Arab Emirates

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