Assessment of Anthropogenic Influences on the Micro-Climate of Wetland Ecosystems: The Case of Hoor-Alazim Wetland in Iran
International Journal of Mining Science
Wetlands are the biggest contributors of water ecosystems and play a fundamental role in all ecological, economic and social aspects of a region (Davies and Claridge, 1993) . Chinese were among the first, who used the wetlands for pica culture and rice cultivation thousands of years ago. There are several known significant values of wetlands, such as the accumulation and storage of organic substances, as well as the filtration and purgation of input waters and surface water storage, among
... torage, among others. Specifically, in Iran, wetlands and aquatic ecosystems are considered very significant valuable Abstract: The Hoor-Al-Azim wetland, with an area with more than 450,000 hectares, is an environmental ecosystem and one of the most important diverse wetlands in Iran and internationally, because its hydrological, biological and ecological systems play a critical role in the life of the surrounding region. Due to limited rainfall, part of this wetland has dried up and the wetland's natural environment has been destroyed, because of the increase in drought episodes and increase in human activities and anthropogenic intervention in recent years. One of the most damaging factors of Hoorhs been the exploration of oil fields and drilling of oil wells since 2000. This study aims to assess the impact of anthropogenic intervention on the microclimate of the wetland caused by drilling company's activities on the Hoor-Al-Azim wetland ecosystem. To this end, an investigation of thechanges in microclimatic and water quality parameters of the area was conducted for a twenty-yearperiod (1991-2010). Results showed that the area's microclimatic factors have changed in a negative direction. The amount of evaporation, warming, and sunshine duration atHoorshave increased, whereas precipitation and relative humidity have decreased. The Hoor-Al-Azim has been destroyed during this period and its areal extent has been reduced. These negative impacts are expected to cause insecurity for the flora and fauna environment and increase disorder in the region.