Application of GIS technique in the studies on fish assemblages in Shatt Al-Arab River, Basrah, Iraq

Main Article Content

Laith F. Lazem


The present study has examined the spatiotemporal varieties of the demographics of the Shatt Al-Arab River fishes and their relation to some ecological components. The aim is to forecast these groups in the unexplored parts of the waterway with an emphasis on environmental indices of diversity. Three sites in the river were selected as an observation and study of these species, which lasted from March 2019 to February 2020, the study dealt with factors affecting fishes, as Water Temperature (WT), Dissolved Oxygen (DO), Potential Hydrogen Ion (pH), Salinity (Sal), and Transparency (Tra). Gill nets, cast nets, hooks, and hand nets were adopted to collecting fish. The results indicated that the fish population comprises 60 species representing 13 orders, 28 families, all species belonged to Osteichthyes except for one (Carcharhinus leucas) which belonged to Chondrichthyes. Cyprinidae is the prevalent family embraced by nine species. WT (12.1- 33.4°C) has a considerable influence on the total number of species and individuals to the north of the watercourse. However, salinity (0.9- 8.7 mg/L) was regarded as the essential impact on the composition, distribution, and abundance of species in the rest sites. Planiliza abu was the most abundant species attaining 20.21%, followed by Oreochromis aureus (16.41%), and Carassius auratus ranked (15.92%), the dominance (D3) value was 52.54%. The results of the current study showed that most of the diversity index values are considered a moderate status. On the other hand, the majority of the richness index values are viewed as semi disturbed status in all stations, while most of the values recorded of the evenness index are deemed as semi-balanced status. The application of GIS technique by using the ordinary kriging method showed high efficiency in the Shatt Al-Arab River. Therefore, this technique can be employed in environmental studies of fishes.


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
Lazem LF. Application of GIS technique in the studies on fish assemblages in Shatt Al-Arab River, Basrah, Iraq. Baghdad Sci.J [Internet]. 2022 Aug. 1 [cited 2022 Nov. 30];19(4):0732. Available from:


Al-Taei SA, Abdulla SS, Lafta AA. Longitudinal intrusion pattern of salinity in Shatt Al Arab estuary and reasons. JKAU: Mar. Sci. 2014 Jul 1; 25 (2): 205.

Wedderburn SD, Bailey CP, Delean S, Paton DC. Population and osmoregulatory responses of a euryhaline fish to extreme salinity fluctuations in coastal lagoons of the Coorong, Australia. Estuar Coast Shelf Sci. 2016 Jan 5; 168: 50- 57.

Kennish MJ. Ecology of Estuaries [book]: V (2): Biological Aspects. CRC Press.‏ 2019, 264 P.

Yasser AG, Naser MD. Impact of pollutants on fish collected from different parts of Shatt Al-Arab River: a histopathological study. Environ. Monit. Assess. 2011 Oct; 181 (1): 175- 182.

Mohamed AR, Hussein SA, Lazem LF. Spatiotemporal Variability of Fish Assemblage in the Shatt Al-Arab River, Iraq. Basrah J. Agricul. Sci. 2013 Jan 1; 26 (1): 43- 59.

Lazem LF. Ecological Evaluation of the Shatt Al-Arab River and fish assemblage by Applying Geographical Information System (GIS). PhD [dissertation]. College of Agriculture, University of Basrah. 2014.

Al-Asadi SA, Al-Qurnawi WS, Al Hawash AB, Ghalib HB, Alkhlifa NH. Water quality and impacting factors on heavy metals levels in Shatt Al-Arab River, Basra, Iraq. Appl. Water Sci. 2020 May; 10 (5):1-5.

Clavero M, Hermoso V, Aparicio E, Godinho FN. Biodiversity in heavily modified waterbodies: native and introduced fish in Iberian reservoirs. Freshwater Bio. 2013 Jun; 58 (6): 1190- 201.

Fierro P, Valdovinos C, Arismendi I, Díaz G, De Gamboa MR, Arriagada L. Assessment of anthropogenic threats to Chilean Mediterranean freshwater ecosystems: Literature review and expert opinions. Env. Imp. Ass. Review. 2019 Jul 1; 77: 114- 21.

Xiong W, Xie D, Chen G, He D. Freshwater fish biodiversity in the Leizhou Peninsula of China. Aquat. Ecosyst. Health Manag. 2019 Apr 3; 22 (2): 160- 70.

Chen, Y., Shan, X., Jin, X., Yang, T., Dai, F., and Yang, D. A comparative study of spatial interpolation methods for determining fishery resources density in the Yellow Sea. Acta Oceanologica Sinica, 2016, 35 (12): 65- 72.‏

Mohamed AR, Resen AK, Taher MM. Longitudinal patterns of fish community structure in the Shatt Al-Arab River, Iraq. Basrah J. Sci. 2012; 30 (2): 65- 86.

Mohamed ARM, Lazim LF, Hussein SA. Assessment of Water Quality and Fish Species Dominance in the Shatt Al-Arab River by GIS Technique. Scient. and Eng. Res. 2017; 4 (8):213- 220.

Yaseen AT, Wahab NK, Yesser AK. Environmental Indicators and Fish Species Structure of The Shatt Al-Arab River Abu Al-Khaseeb/Basra-Iraq. Tikrit J. Agricul. Sci. 2017; 17 (2): 137- 163.

Albadran BN, Al-Mulla ST, Abd-Alqader MM. Physiographic study of Shatt Al-Arab delta south of Iraq by application of remote sensing technique. Mesopo. J. Marine. Sci. 2016; 31 (2): 169- 80.

Al-Lami ORT. Effect of Some Marine Properties for Arabian Gulf on North Parts Hydrology of Shatt Al-Arab Riverbed. MA [thesis], Coll. of Arts-Univ. of Basrah. 2009, 210p (In Arabic).

Carpenter KE, Krupp F, Jones DA. Living marine resources of Kuwait, Eastern Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. Food & Agriculture Org.; 1997; 293p. From:

Coad BW. Freshwater fishes of Iraq. Sofia, Bulgaria, Pensoft Publishers; 2010 (274p).

Coad BW. Freshwater fishes of Iraq. Freshwater fishes of Iraq checklist. From: downloaded 05 April (2019).

Fricke R, Eschmeyer WN, Van der Laan R. Eschmeyer's Catalog of Fishes: Genera, Species, References. Electronic version accessed 10/ Feb/ 2020. From: ichthyology/ catalog/fishcatmain.asp

Odum WE. Insidious alteration of the estuarine environment. Transactions of the American Fisheries Society. 1970 Oct 1; 99 (4): 836- 47.

Kwak TJ, Peterson JT. Community indices, parameters, and comparisons. Analysis and interpretation of freshwater fisheries data. American Fisheries Society, Bethesda, Maryland. 2007: 677- 763.

Tyler AV. Periodic and resident components in communities of Atlantic fishes. Can J Fish Aquat Sci. 1971 Jul 1; 28 (7): 935- 946.

Paighambari SY, Ghaed Mohammadi M, Raeisi H, Pouladi M. Seasonal comparison of catch composition, biodiversity and length-weight relationships of fish fauna in Doroudzan Dam, Fars Province, Iran. J. Wildl. Biodivers. 2020 Jan 1; 4 (1): 18- 28.

Mutlak FM, Al-Faisal AJ. A new record of two exotic cichlids fish Oreochromis aureus (Steindacher, 1864) and Tilapia zilli (Gervais, 1848) from south of the main outfall drain in Basrah city. Mesopo. J. Marine Sci. 2009; 24 (2): 160– 170.

Mohamed AR, Abood AN. Compositional change in fish assemblage structure in the Shatt Al-Arab River, Iraq. Asian J. Applied Sci. 2017 Oct 25; 5 (5).

Tibihika PD, Waidbacher H, Masembe C, Curto M, Sabatino S, Alemayehu E, et al. Anthropogenic impacts on the contextual morphological diversification and adaptation of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus, L. 1758) in East Africa. Environ Biol Fishes. 2018 Mar; 101 (3): 363- 381.

Al-Shammaa AA, Balasem AN, Hassan AF, Abed BK. Natural food of golden fish Carassius auratus L. from Euphrates River and its adjacent waters, Thikar province, south of Iraq. Fisheres Bulletin. 2002; 21: 49- 54.

Schiphouwer ME, Kessel NV, Matthews J, Leuven RS, Koppel S, Kranenbarg J, Haenen OL, Lenders HJ, Nagelkerke LA, Velde G, Crombaghs BH. Risk analysis of exotic fish species included in the Dutch Fisheries Act and their hybrids. 2014

Issa IE, Al-Ansari N, Sherwany G, Knutsson S. Expected future of water resources within Tigris–Euphrates rivers basin, Iraq. J. Water Resour. Prot. 2014; 6 (5): 421- 32.

Roberts BH, Morrongiello JR, King AJ, Morgan DL, Saunders TM, Woodhead J, Crook DA. Migration to freshwater increases growth rates in a facultatively catadromous tropical fish. Oecologia. 2019 Oct; 191(2): 253- 60.

Mohamed ARM., Hussein SA., Mutlak FM. Composition of fish assemblage in the East Hammar marsh, southern Iraq. Baghdad S J, 2014, 11. 3

Kindong R, Wu J, Gao C, Dai L, Tian S, Dai X, Chen J. Seasonal changes in fish diversity, density, biomass, and assemblage alongside environmental variables in the Yangtze River Estuary. Environmental Science and Pollution Research. 2020 Jul; 27 (20): 25461- 25474.

Jorgensen SE, Xu FL, Salas F, Marques J. Application of indicators for the assessment of ecosystem health. Handbook of ecological indicators for assessment of ecosystem health. 2nd ed, CRC Press, 2005 Jan 27; 2: 5-65. From: onepage &q &f=false

Hussain NA, Ali AH, Lazem LF. Ecological indices of key biological groups in Southern Iraqi marshland during 2005-2007. Mesopot. J. Mar. Sci. 2012; 27 (2): 112- 25.

Lazem LF, Attee RS. Structure of fish assemblage in relation to some ecological factors in Himreen Dam Lake, Iraq. Basrah J. Agric. Sci. 2016 Jan 1; 29 (1): 7- 16.

Kim JS, Seo IW, Baek D. Seasonally varying effects of environmental factors on phytoplankton abundance in the regulated rivers. Scientific reports. 2019 Jun 25; 9 (1): 1- 2.

Walden G, Noirot C, Nagelkerken I. A future 1.2° C increase in ocean temperature alters the quality of mangrove habitats for marine plants and animals. Sci. Total Environ. 2019 Nov 10; 690: 596- 603.

Liu PJ, Ang SJ, Mayfield AB, Lin HJ. Influence of the seagrass Thalassia hemprichii on coral reef mesocosms exposed to ocean acidification and experimentally elevated temperatures. Sci Total Environ. 2020 Jan 15; 700: 134464.

Al-Galibi MKN. Deterioration of water Characteristics in Shatt Al-Arab River and ways of treatments. MS [thesis], Coll. of Edu. for Human Sci., Univ. of Basrah. 2020, 126 pp. (In Arabic).