Spot assessment of the coral resources of Baybay waters


Author: Bernardita P. Germano

Abstract

The coral resources of Baybay were assessed using the transect-quadrat method. Two samplings in 14 stations over an area of 1400 m2 yielded a mean coral cover of 59.1%. Fifty-four species belonging to 21 genera in 13 families of scleractinian and nonscleractinian corals were identified.
Based on relative cover, the three most dominant species are Acropora hebes, Porites tenuis and A. granulosa. The most ubiquitous of the dominant species are P. lutea, followed by Pocillopora damicornis, A. squarrosa and Seriatopora angulata. Coral cover was highest in Palhi (Tomakin reef) followed by Plaridel, and lowest in Maybog, ViSCA and Maslog. Species diversity was highest in Plaridel and Palhi, and zero in Vi SCA and Mas log. In general, southern stations have better coral cover and diversity than northern stations. The major factors limiting the distribution of corals in the area are apparently depth and substratum. To improve the cover and diversity of corals in Baybay, coral transplantation is recommended in the available continental shelves of the northern stations, with Plaridel and Palhi serving as the source of materials. Criteria for site selection are discussed. Introduction of rocks and boulders and planting of mangrove or beach trees and seagrasses in coral transplantation sites are also recommended to improve larval survival and coral colonization. Vigilance against dynamite fishing and slash-and-burn agriculture should also be maintained.

Keywords : Corals, Baybay waters, coral cover, species diversity, depth. substratum, coral transplantation.

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