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Marine Habitats: Types and Distribution22
The most productive and diverse aquatic habitats of Abu Dhabi occur within the sheltered shallow waters along the coast and offshore islands. Here, mangrove forests, seagrass beds, salt marshes, macro-algal beds, mud flats, nutrient-rich shallows and coral reefs occur, supporting a great diversity of coastal and marine species. The dead coral reefs along Abu Dhabi's coast have remained largely intact, providing structural platforms for different seaweeds and algae to become established. While some of these marine habitats are protected within the Emirate's biosphere reserve and MPAs, others are not. Additional assessment studies on the distribution and quality of Abu Dhabi's marine habitats are planned for the long-term conservation and sustainable use of these habitats.