Distribution of zooplankton in the Al-Hawizah, Al-Hammar marshes and Al-Izze river South of Iraq


Samples of zooplankton were collected seasonally from seven stations in the marshes South of Iraq. For the period from December 2003 to November 2004, by plankton net 120 micron mish-size. Water temperature, salinity and pH were recorded at each station. The population density of zooplankton ranged between 52 ind./ m3 at station 5 (Al-Barga region) during Autumn, to 3309 ind /m3 at station 2 (Al-Turaba region) during Spring2004. Crustacea was the dominated group in all stations because the Copepoda was very abundant and its comprised 62.4%, 67%, 89.9%, 62.5%, 31.5%, 49.9%, and 64.9%, in stations (1,2,3,4,5,6,7)respectively. The density of zooplankton is governed inversely by water temperature and to lesser extent by salinity. A total of 18 species of Cladocera belonging to 12 genera were identified in the area, 5 species are new records to the Iraqimarshes.