Over 80 species of grass in UAE featured in new book - GulfToday

Over 80 species of grass in UAE featured in new book

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The 194-page illustrated book is the first of its kind in the UAE.

To mark the 'World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought', 'Grasses, Sedges and Rushes of the UAE' was recently published by the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, EAD, featuring unique information about the UAE’s 84 natives, naturalised (from outside the UAE but grow here in many locations) and introduced (non-native) grasses and grass-like species.

The 194-page illustrated book, the first of its kind in the UAE, is the result of years of efforts by EAD’s experts in monitoring the country’s wadis, wetlands, and deserts. It captures the Emirate’s grasses through vivid and emotive illustrations by Emirati plant specialist and EAD employee Mohamed Al Mehairbi, along with a description of each species and a distribution map showing their known range.

"Studying and conserving plant species has always been a key part of our strategy and with Abu Dhabi being home to 58% of the country’s wild flora, we are ensuring that their natural habitats are protected through the Sheikh Zayed Protected Areas Network. Grass, in particular, plays a significant role in maintaining our environment. It sequesters carbon, reduces soil erosion and stabilises sand dunes. It is also an excellent source of protein that sustains several local wild and domestic grazing species, while grass seeds are a source of nutrition for smaller animals including rodents, hares, and birds," said Dr. Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, Acting Secretary-General of EAD.

"We hope the information in this book assists policy-makers, researchers, students, and the broader community in learning more about one of the most important plant groups in the world and in helping us conserve them," she concluded.

WAM