Micro estuaries which are found at the lower reaches of the Israeli (and other arid and semi arid regions) coastal streams are providing multiple ecosystem services. Despite that and despite the fact that these ecosystems are very sensitive to anthropogenic influences they are among the least studied marine environments.The study we conduct is driven by the notion that due to the low discharges in micro-estuaries, small managerial interventions may lead to high positive impact in the ecosystem functioning.
The Israeli coastal streams were among the most impressive habitats in this region. The industrialization and anthropogenic development during the last century transformed these systems to filthy trenches of effluents. During the last two decades, efforts have been made to restore those ecosystems. To include the full estuarine domain, this research is conducted upstream to the highest point where the bottom water is influenced by marine water and within the adjacent marine environment that is affected by fresher surface water.
The region where the streams meet the marine environment is defined as estuary and in the small scale Israeli streams “micro-estuary”. Estuarine environments are characterized by sharp temporal and regional gradients and therefore they construct ecological richness hot-spots. Estuaries are also environmentally important due to being biological filters and nurseries of marine species.
The anthropogenic stress on the Israeli coastal streams is considered one of the highest globally, and includes utilization of most of the natural freshwater, significant morphological changes and discharge of treated effluents which now form most of the discharge.
There are nine micro-estuaries scattered along the Israeli coastal plain, all of them are used as recreational sites. Despite their location and importance, the ecosystem functioning and the processes that affect the water quality and interactions with the marine environments are scarcely studied.
With the aim of understanding the physical chemical and biological processes that shepe the micro estuaries, we conduct an ongoing sampling of those parameters varying in temporal resolution from real time to monthly sampling. The research focuses on four perturbations: low oxygen concentrations, high nutrient loads, pollutants of emerging concern and turbidity.
Data on this website are freely available for education, research, and public advocacy. When using the data, please cite:
Suari, Yair, Ayelet Dadon-Pilosof, Tal Sade, Tal Amit, Merav Gilboa, Sarig Gafny, Tom Topaz, Hadar Zedaka, Shira Boneh, and Gitai Yahel. “A long term physical and biogeochemical database of a hyper-eutrophicated Mediterranean micro-estuary.” Data in brief 27 (2019): 104809.
Any commercial use of the data is strictly forbidden unless a written permission has been secured in advance by us (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Israeli estuarine research center team:
Tom Topaz (PhD.)
Team leader. specializes in environmental toxicity.
Yair Suari (PhD.)
Physics and biogeochemistry