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Wednesday, 21-Feb-2007 11:39 Email | Share | Bookmark
The Hara marine forests - Qeshm Island

Conservated area of Hara Forest (Mangrove)
Hara forestal species is the main feature of the ecology of south coast in Iran. It spreads from strait of hormoz to the east on Oman beaches and the Indian ocean. These widespread forests can be seen at the beaches of Persian Gulf around the laft horbor at north of Qeshm Island and Khamir horbor.
Avesina, the great Iranian scientist, called the trees "Hara". Hara forest spreads at the latitude of 50-500m around the Qeshm Island. It bounds an area about 150km, a plot of land with an area of 8234 Hectare (82340000m*m). Ignoring the water of marshy (swampy) areas and land barren of plants, the real and exact expansion of these forests are about 6012 hectares (60120000m*m). One of the vast area of Hara forest is on Laft horbor and Poul horbor at north west of Qeshm and 140km east of Abbas horbor.
The rocket forests grow on sludgy (slimy) soil that made up of the erosion of the sedimentary soils at beaches, and constantly expose to ebb and flow of the water. At the time of ebb (low tide), the trees and their sludgy beds come out of the water and present as widespread Islands. At the high tide, the Hare forests cover with water and become disappeared. Basically, the Hara tree grows in an area that high tide covers it, so at the higher seabeds, any of these kinds of trees can't seen.
Hara trees not only aliment from the briny (salty) sea water, but also sweeten these waters. These kinds of trees have regular growth and usually blossom and bear fruit mid July and begining of August. They have bright yellow flowers and their fruits are very sweet and delicious. The Hara trees have almond-like fruits, that by passing a time, blossom, at the main stalk and their seeds bud and fall in the water. The tight flow of waves take the seeds of this plant to less moving parts of the sea. The hara seeds become fixed on the soil layers of the sea and grow. Between Qeshm and Khamir horbor, there is slow flow of waves, so most of seeds stay there and grow.
Hara trees are usually with the height of 4m and 30cm diameter. The oval and long leaves with very narrow (liny) end base, are not only appetizing, but also have nutritious values for livestock and are equivalent to barley and alfalfa. The roots of these kinds of plants are knee-form, aerial, sponge-like and usually external. The roots of Hara trees are higher than the ground level for their respiration (photosynthesis). The high denseness of salt at the sea and the saturation of soil (of the sea) limit the plants expansion.
The traditional stock breeders of Qeshm Island use the leaves of Hara for feeding their livestocks. The expansion of Hara forest, comparing with past, has slow and decreasing flow. So in 1972for keeping the balance of Ecosystem and preventing the extinction of these kinds of rare forests in the world, a foresaid area were declared as the conservated area.
The regions which covered with Hara trees that are also called Khour, the depth of water is about 3m and the quality and kind of soil is briny. It has heavy and alkali texture. NaCl and MgCl2 are the main salts of the soil. For the quality and kind of the soil in these areas, it is assumped that it is the only suitable condition for growth of Hara trees.
Suitable ecological condition of this area makes it a very appropriate habitat for migratory birds in cold seasons. In other seasons, the native birds which can't find an appropriate place for living and seeking shelter, come to these forests. Not only aquatic and migratory birds and birds which are drinking from these waters, but also reptiles, fishes and even some kinds of arthropoda and bivalvates are living in these forests. Green (or hooked) turtles and venomous aquatic snake are the specific animals of the ecosystem of Hara forests in Iran. The big Indian herons, the greenish grey herons, flamingos, pelicans, kinds of salims, angler eagles, skimmer break, kakaies, and other kinds of birds live in the ecosystem of Hara forests of Iran. Another important role of these forests is their appropriate and suitable seabed condition for the ovulation of fishes in Persian Gulf.

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