Baseline information of the benthic macroinvertebrates in the Tinabilan Marine Protected Area, Northwest Leyte as Bioindicators of Reef Health

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Research Paper 03/11/2022
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Baseline information of the benthic macroinvertebrates in the Tinabilan Marine Protected Area, Northwest Leyte as Bioindicators of Reef Health

Jason G. Tuang-Tuang
Int. J. Biosci.21( 5), 12-17, November 2022.
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Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) are established as a management strategy to protect plants and animals in the marine environment, particularly, coral reefs. Coral reefs primary inhabitants are composed of benthic macroinvertebrates which does not only provide huge economic impact to the community but act as bioindicators of reef health. In Tinabilan MPA, Northwest Leyte, no comprehensive and detailed study was conducted to determine the status of benthic macroinvertebrates in the newly-established MPA. Baseline reef macroinvertebrate assessment was done in identified permanent stations in the coral reef areas in the inside and outside portions of the MPA. The modified Reef Check methodology was used to determine the status, taxonomic composition and diversity of macroinvertebrates. Results showed that the reef macrobenthic invertebrates were in poor status dominated by several species of demosponges, asteroids, crinoids, and mollusks. The endangered gastropod species, Trochus niloticus, was recorded with several specimens in the area. The results of this study showed that strict implementation of protection and conservation should be imposed to improve the biodiversity and sustain the ecological balance in the coral reef ecosystem.


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