, Volume 721, Issue 1, pp 155–164 | Cite as

Phosphorus and nitrogen budgets of the Al-Hawizeh marshland after re-flooding

  • Sama S. AlMaarofi
  • Ali A. Z. Douabul
  • Barry G. Warner
  • William D. Taylor
Primary Research Paper


The ecological function of the Mesopotamian marshlands was severely damaged during their desiccation from 1993 to 2003 and, as a result, the marshes became a main target for restoration after their re-flooding in April 2003. In this study, the phosphorus (P) and nitrogen (N) budgets for a portion of the Mesopotamian marshlands at Al-Hawizeh (Iraq) are reported. Al-Hawizeh appears to play a strong role in regulating P and N. Total P input and output were both dominated by dissolved organic P, while total N input and output were dominated by particulate organic N, suggesting that N is in greater demand than P. Al-Hawizeh acts as source for N and sink for P; this has an important function in altering their export downstream (Shatt Al-Arab River) and subsequently into the Arabian Gulf. However, investigating P and N fractions helped in understanding the role of Al-Hawizeh in transforming, storage and release of P and N fractions.


Mesopotamian marshland Re-flooding Phosphorus budget Nitrogen budget Dynamic nutrients 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sama S. AlMaarofi
    • 1
  • Ali A. Z. Douabul
    • 2
  • Barry G. Warner
    • 3
  • William D. Taylor
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada
  2. 2.Department of Marine Environmental Chemistry, Marine Science CentreUniversity of BasraBasraIraq
  3. 3.Department of Earth and Environmental ScienceUniversity of WaterlooWaterlooCanada

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