A Rapid marine biodiversity assessment of the coral reefs in morales Beach, Benoni, Glan, Sarangani Province, Philippine
By: Justin Rhea M. Bandiola, Chenny Rose M. Rodriguez, Ralph Jan G. Saluna, Bencel John B. Robles, Hazel Kareen C. Villacanas, Mark Anthony J. Torres, Maria Luisa N. Cabrera, Elani A. Requieron
Key Words: Coral reef ecosystem, Hard corals, Point intercept transect, Physico-chemical parameters, Shannon diversity index
J. Bio. Env. Sci. 8(2), 233-239, February 2016.
Morales beach is one of the beaches located in the coastal town of Glan, Sarangani Province and noted for its quite enormous coral reef which is continuously degrading. This study was conducted to assess the health status of coral reef ecosystem and to evaluate the physico-chemical parameters of the area. Point Intercept Transect (PIT) method was used to monitor live coral condition and the supporting fauna at a coral reef ecosystem. Physico-chemical parameters were obtained in situ using a thermometer, refractometer, and a pH meter. The result of the study showed a very low percentage cover of hard corals, no cover percentage of soft corals and high cover percentage of other biota or substrate. The reef areas exhibited poor coral cover with an average of 15 percent live hard corals having family Acropora as the most dominant species (Shannon diversity index of 1.653). Water samples obtained were within the DENR (1990) standards suitable for the optimum growth of coral reefs. The health status of the coral reefs in Morales beach showed a partially disturbed reef due to human intervention. It is greatly recommended to constantly monitor the coral conditions in order to effectively manage and protect the increasing number of Marine Protected Areas (MPA).