Baseline Assessment of Seagrass Communities of Lubang and Looc Islands, Occidental Mindoro, Philippines

GENIBETH E. GENITO, FENELYN M. NABUAB, CRISTY S. ACABADO, BELLA SHEILA ALBASIN, PACIFICO D. BELDIAII
2010 Publications of the Seto Marine Biological Laboratory. Special Publication Series.  
The Lubang and Looc Islands in Occidental Mindoro are located west and form part of the Verde Island Passage (VIP), an ecologically important corridor linking the South China Sea and the Philippine internal waters. The VIP has also been labelled as a regional hotspot for tropical marine biodiversity, highlighting the need for management and conservation efforts that are science-based. Thus, this assessment was done to provide baseline data on the seagrass beds of the Lubang and Looc Islands.
more » ... nd Looc Islands. Thirteen sites were surveyed around the Lubang and Looc Islands, Occidental Mindoro on April 13 -17, 2009. The seagrass beds are generally multispecific meadows that are characterized by both continuous and patchy meadows, with cover ranging from 0.62% to 59.49%. Eight seagrass species were observed, with Thalassia hemprichii and Cymodocea rotundata the most ubiquitous. Shoot densities observed in the area are generally high (mean = 961 shoots m -2 ), and composite leaf biomass (mean = 212.70 gDW m -2 ) is comparable to other seagrass beds surveyed in other sites in the country. The observed "kaingin" practices in the uplands pose the greatest threat to the seagrass ecosystems of the area because of the long-term domino effect of erosion and sedimentation on the seagrass beds. However, fisheries practices also need to be quantified to determine hierarchy of anthropogenic disturbance that causes habitat fragmentation of the seagrass beds of Lubang and Looc Islands.
doi:10.5134/144638 fatcat:7cvtvebjwbatvg6ujgilanr3ji