Resiliency of seagrass beds in shallow waters of Tacloban City, Philippines after super Typhoon Yolanda

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Research Paper 06/02/2023
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Resiliency of seagrass beds in shallow waters of Tacloban City, Philippines after super Typhoon Yolanda

Abstract

Seagrasses have high ecological services as a promoter of biological productivity and biodiversity. When Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) devastated Tacloban City in 2013, two years after, seagrass beds started to emerge in the shallow waters of Cancabato Bay, Anibong Bay, and San Juanico Straight. Five species of seagrass were identified: Cymodocea rotundata, Cymodocea serrulata, Enhalus acoroides, Halodule uninervis and Thalassia hemprichii. Pooled resiliency attributes from literature to describe the acclimatization of the emerging seagrass beds and patches, anchoring on the resiliency model of Unsworth et al. 2015, suggesting three intervening factors: biological, biophysical, and support ecosystem. In the dearth of literature and studies of seagrass beds after Super Typhoon Haiyan, four stations were established in the shallow waters of Tacloban City to depict some resiliency characteristics. Biological indicators such as canopy height, shoot density, and; biomass were computed, showing recuperation values for seagrass health. Some physical environmental factors such as total suspended solids (TSS), pH, dissolved oxygen (DO), salinity, turbidity, and water movement were also identified. In a separate study, nitrates and phosphates levels (mgL-1) of sediments and seawater in Cancabato Bay and Anibong Bay showed ambient levels suitable for seagrass growth. Residents also amassed seagrass-associated epifaunal macroinvertebrates communities, such as mollusks and gastropods, for commercial and domestic utilities. Mangrove patches, complimentary with seagrass beds, are also showing recovery after the inundation. Though the analysis is just based on minimal inquiry and needs more in-depth investigations, seagrass in the shallow waters of Tacloban City is manifesting recovery and showing attributes of resilience.

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