Diversity, distribution and conservation status of mangrove species in the Municipality of Biliran, Biliran Island, Philippines

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Research Paper 16/05/2023
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Diversity, distribution and conservation status of mangrove species in the Municipality of Biliran, Biliran Island, Philippines

Litlen P. Dapar, Romel Quinte, Ma Opelia M. Moreno, Melanie P. Moncada, Florante P. Sabejon
J. Bio. Env. Sci.22( 5), 76-86, May 2023.
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Abstract

We determined the diversity of mangrove species and their conservation status in the municipality of Biliran to serve as baseline for conservation and protection of mangal ecosystems in the island. Thirty-two quadrats with a size of 10×10 m were established and each mangrove tree inside the plots was identified. The numbers of individuals per species were counted and diversity indices were computed. Results revealed 13 mangrove species belonging to 7 families including Avicennia rumphiana, A. marina, A. alba, Rhizophora apiculata, R. stylosa, R. mucronata, Ceriops tagal, Bruguiera sp., Sonneratia alba, Exoecaria agallocha, Scyphiphora hydrophyllacea, Xylocarpus granatum, and Brownlowia tersa. Majority of the mangrove species belonged to Rhizophoraceae family. R. apiculata was the most abundant while B. tersa was the least abundant species. Mangroves like C. tagal, R. apiculata, and A. marina were generalist species because they were found in all of the study sites, whereas A. rumphiana, A. alba, S. hydrophyllacea, B. tersa, R. mucronata, and Bruguiera sp. were specialist because they were only found in 1 study site. A. rumphiana was the only mangrove listed as Vulnerable (VU) based on IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The mean values of the following indices were obtained: H’= 1.1984, DMn= 0.7124, J= 0.6877 and D= 0.3877. Mangrove diversity in Biliran municipality was very low with a highly even distribution of species and uniform distribution of individuals. Since mangal ecosystems in the municipality of Biliran are facing natural and anthropogenic disturbances, the local government unit should prioritize mangrove forest conservation and rehabilitation.

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