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Environmental Sciences Team exploring a remote inaccessible Juniper woodland in Jebel Al-Kawr, Northern mountain (Oman)

27 March 2018

Royal Air Force of Oman and Department of Applied Sciences, Section of Environmental Sciences visit to inaccessible woodland site at Jebel Al-Kawr

Juniper woodlands are only found in high altitude northern mountains of Oman, and they represent the southernmost population of this species in the world. There is a need for immediate actions to conserve these woodlands from further degradation. These undervalued woodlands are the heritage of Oman. They have provided ecosystem services for hundreds of years. Only human co-operation with nature can save the heritage. These woodlands are exposed to different kinds of threats. Of late, several researchers and environmental centers in Oman are focusing on finding solutions to stop the degradation of these woodlands. These woodlands had been investigated in detailed in the part of Al Jabal Al Akhdar and Jebel Shams, however they are not yet well investigated in Jebel Al-Kwar. A team from Applied Sciences Department, Section of Environmental Sciences, consist of five students, three lecturers and one technical staff visited these woodlands in one of the most remote and inaccessible area in Jebel Al Kwar.

Few minutes with ESS team challenging the remoteness and inaccessibility of Jebel Al-Kawr with the cooperation of Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO)

Two randomly sites were chosen to study the ecological status of the juniper trees in Jebel Al Kwar. Trees’ height, stems circumferences, health condition and sexual status of all juniper trees were recorded. Habitat topography, soil erosion and signs for regeneration were recorded at each plot. The team also collected soil samples for physical and chemical analysis.


References:

Al Haddabi, L. and Victor, R., 2016. The ecological status of juniper woodlands in Al Jabal Al Akhdar, northern mountains of Oman. International Journal of Environmental Studies, 73(5), pp.746-759.

Fisher, M. and Gardner, A.S., 1995, The status and ecology of a Juniperus Excelsa Subsp. Polycarpos woodland in the northern mountains of Oman. Vegetatio, 119, 33 –51.

Fisher, M., 1997, Decline in the juniper woodlands of Raydah reserve in southwestern Saudi Arabia: a response to climate changes? Global Ecology and Biogeography Letters, 6(5), 379–386.

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