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Research Paper | November 3, 2022

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Status, benthic composition and generic diversity of coral resources in Tinabilan Fish and Shell Sanctuary, Northwest Leyte, Eastern Philippines

Jason G. Tuang-Tuang

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Int. J. Biosci.21(5), 18-23, November 2022

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12692/ijb/21.5.18-23

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Abstract

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) were recognized as an effective strategy to improve the hard coral cover through the reduction of anthropogenic stressors and pressures. With the absence of baseline data on the status of the coral reef community structure in Tinabilan Fish and Shell Sanctuary, the enforced protection and management effectiveness could not be determined. Baseline data on the hard coral cover, taxonomic composition, and benthic community structure were gathered using the enhanced Point Intercept Transect (PIT) method supplemented with the Taxonomic Agglomeration Units (TAUs). The outside stations of the protected area were recorded to have a slightly higher cover and generic diversity of hard corals compared to the inside stations. However, it was revealed during informal interviews that the present location of the MPA was heavily bombarded with illegal fishing activities decades ago. The data suggest that the protection implemented in the MPA may have gradually improved the benthic community structure of the coral reef.

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Status, benthic composition and generic diversity of coral resources in Tinabilan Fish and Shell Sanctuary, Northwest Leyte, Eastern Philippines

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